National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships are a Hickstead hit

Seaford College made it a one-two in the junior schools section of the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships at Hickstead, celebrating a first win in the competition for the school near Petworth.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 1:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 1:28 pm
Action in the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships / Picture: Julian Portch

The winning foursome of Emma Perrett (Ruby), Bella Crowley (Access Blue), Jack Dace (Meelickisland Cornrake) and Oliver Allison (Lislarkin Lad) also cemented team honours with a clean sweep in the individual final.

With three clear rounds in the first round, the team had done enough to take the win ahead of their schoolmates in the Seaford College Red team, who finished on four faults for second place.

In the jump-off, speed was of the essence and notably the first two riders hailed from a racing family.

Emma Perrett, 13, and Bella Crowley, 11, are cousins, and both are the grandchildren of the trainer Guy Harwood. Emma is the daughter of jockey Mark Perrett and amateur jockey-turned-trainer Amanda Perrett, while Bella is the daughter of top jockey Jim Crowley.

Emma was last to go, and she finished in 32.37sec to take the win ahead of Bella on 32.95sec. Third was team debutant Jack Dace, who finished clear in 33.78 sec.

Seaford crowned an unforgettable day when also winning the Hickstead Elite 1.00m NSEA Team Championship. Emma and Bella were again part of the winning team, alongside 16-year-old Emma Nelson (Amerio III) and 15-year-old Lulu James (Big Town Rebel).

“This is my first time jumping at Hickstead, I’ve loved it and all the horses have jumped really well today,” said Emma Nelson.

Millfield School took both team and individual titles today in the Senior Schools division. The Somerset school has an excellent record at these championships, winning the senior title in 2016 and 2017, and the junior title in 2018 and 2019.

At this year’s championships, Hatty Kingsford took the individual title with her eventing mare Killycloghan Classic Melody, with team-mates Freya Barry (Delilah), Tara Kay (Amandas) and Sofia Scriven (Rock DJ) joining her on the winning team.

Hatty, 15, and Tara, 16, had been part of the winning junior team in 2019, and after last year’s competition was cancelled in the Covid-19 pandemic they were finally able to return to add another Hickstead title to their record. Meanwhile, Fifteen-year-old Freya and Sofia, 17, were making their first appearance in this competition.

Tara was second individually, with Freya finishing fourth behind Mayfield School’s Ella Mulder.

In the Hurst College National Pony Club Championship, local branch the Crawley and Horsham Hunt took the team honours. The trio of Briony Martin (Ballymack Billy), Andrew Lynch (Lorindo) and Ella Bubb (Happiness) finished on a total of 8 faults to finish ahead of the Bicester and Warden Hill branch in second.

Ella, who events up to intermediate, came close to a winning double but had to settle for second place in the individual title behind Bicester & Warden Hill rider Christina Rawding and CES Wicked.

Christina, 17, grandniece of legendary racing driver Stirling Moss, was an impressive 5sec quicker in the jump-off.

Scarlet Clark-Murphy’s ride Ballyleak Silver looked as good as ever when claiming The Hickstead Elite 1.10m NSEA Individual Championship.