Jumping for joy

Mayfields, the St Leonards independent Catholic girls’€™ school, has been enjoying national success in equestrian sport

The Mayfield riding squad won a string of championship titles at the National Schools Championships. As well as an individual title for 15-year-old Amy Whiffen in the 1.10/1.15m show jumping championship, the East Sussex girls’ school took home three of the nine team championship titles up for grabs, as well as finishing runners-up and placed in a further four championship classes.

The 17-strong squad from the independent girls’ school travelled to Addington Manor where the competition is held each year, ready to compete for the top prizes against more than 800 competitors from 180 schools from all over Britain.

Amy Whiffen, a pupil in year 10, produced a clear round to take the 1m10/1m15 individual show jumping title on her home-produced pony Knight Rider, beating off stiff competition from some of the best young riders in the country, including an international competition pony who jumped for team GB at the recent European Championships. Amy was delighted with her success and commented: “I’m so pleased with Knight Rider. He did everything I asked of him against such tough competition; he really is a star and rose to the challenge beautifully. I’m so pleased with the result as he always puts his everything into his jumping and loves his job!”

She was joined by Sophie Malorey (17) and Ellie Walker (16) to defend their title as national schools 1m10/1m15 team show jumping champions for the second consecutive year. Team Mayfield dominated in the 1m team show jumping competition to claim both the title and the runners-up trophy, and took the championship 80cm team show jumping class to complete the hat-trick.

Mayfield teams also took park in the 1m arena eventing championship, winning second and third places. The school also finished in sixth place in the team dressage competition.

Mayfield also claimed three national titles in 2013 and this is the tenth consecutive year that the squad has been national schools champions. Director of riding Jill Barker thinks the squad’s consistent results can be put down to the hard work and support that goes on behind the scenes, as well as the school’s emphasis on the importance of striving for excellence in both academic studies and extra-curricular activities: “But it is the Mayfield team spirit, both on and off the horses, which really sets us apart. Not only do the girls work hard, but they go the extra mile to help and support each other through all the ups and downs that come with horses. I am immensely proud of all of them.”

Mayfield’s new equestrian centre opened its stable-doors in 2013. There is stabling and grazing for 30 horses and ponies on the school site, so the pupils can visit their ponies during the school day and ride at lunchtimes and after school. 


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