A team of three riders – Flora James, Beanie Bradley and Jessie Schute – represented Seaford College in the Land Rover Inter Schools Jumping Competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
This is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world with a five-star international rating and with world class riders competing.
The Queen was in attendance and alongside the top class jumping events were displays from The Household Cavalry, carriage driving, dressage and showing.
Seaford was drawn 36th to jump out of 38 teams so had plenty of time to watch the competition and see poles being rolled and many refusals on the tricky course where the last seven fences were against the clock.
Nerves were high but the girls were fantastic, keeping their heads and encouraging each other in the warm-up. James was the path finder and rode a fantastic clear round, followed by Bradley and then Schute.
Seaford stormed in to the lead and the parents were jumping for joy.
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The class was nearing the end with the 37th team faulting but, at the last minute, the team from Lady Manners in Derbyshire rode three excellent clears to beat Seaford by three seconds on time. Seaford were magnanimous in defeat and congratulated the winners.
The Seaford trio are great riders, have lovely ponies and manage to keep cool heads under extreme pressure to perform at the top of their game.
Also competing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show was Bella Crowley from the prep school. She was riding in the Shetland Pony Grand National in the evening pageant in front of The Queen. The Shetland Pony Grand National raises money for the Bob Champion Cancer Charity.
Part of the Seaford ethos is about celebrating success and personal bests and that is exactly what they did after the event. Headmaster John Green invited the team and Seaford’s equestrian team manager Lucy Sanders for a celebratory tea.
The girls were proud to talk about their accomplishment. They explained the effort they need to put in to their sport. The head was impressed by their effort, energy and enthusiasm.
Sanders joined Seaford four years ago and has taken the equestrian team from strength to strength. She is incredibly proud of all the girls, saying: “It doesn’t matter that they came second. They are all winners to me. The dedication and commitment that they have shown has been phenomenal.”