English Vaulting Championships 2019

On Saturday 14th September Lizzie Bennett represented Contessa Vaulting Group in the English Vaulting Championships at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre, Rugby.
She was vaulting in the Para Canter/Walk class on Great Bear, owned by Perry RDA Group and lunged by Sam Davison. Following canter compulsories in the morning, she performed her walk freestyle in the afternoon to an arrangement of the song, 'One Jump Ahead', from Disney's Aladdin.
Lizzie was also present in her capacity as a coach of four young vaulters competing as two sets of pairs in the able-bodied Walk Pas de Deux class. The pairs finished in fifth and sixth position overall (which included Welsh competitors), but third and fourth position in the English standings. 

Lizzie won her class, which is the highest Para level, to become English Para Vaulting Champion for the fourth consecutive year. She has now qualified for the British Vaulting Championships which will be held at Bishop Burton (near Beverley) in October.

SEIB Search for a Star RDA Showing Championships 2019

We are very proud of Eleanor Currington and Drunkeen Boy (Boysie) who recently won the RDA SEIB Search for a Star final at Addington Manor.
The pair qualified for the final after taking part in the showing competition at the RDA National Championships at Hartpury in July, where they also came 1st in Level 3 Showjumping and 3rd in the Grade 3 Dressage. They even appeared on BBC Countryfile!

Last week they took part in the final which has been held at the BSHA National Championships since 2017. Horses and riders must walk and trot as a group before presenting an individual show, which can include canter, and talking to the judges. Both horse and rider must be immaculately turned out and, as you can see in the photo below, Gillian did a brilliant job of preparing Boysie so he looked his best.
At Cambs College RDA we've always known that our beloved Boysie (Drunkeen Boy) is a star - but it's always nice to have official recognition of the fact!

You can read more about the competition here

Summer Successes (Dressage and Vaulting)

Although the Group does not meet to ride over the summer, there have nonetheless been some competitive successes!

British Dressage
Eleanor Currington rode Drunkeen Boy (Boysie) in the Bronze Grade 3 Para class at Essendon and Epping Forest Dressage Group (EEFDG) in August. Eleanor won the class with a fantastic score of 71.11%.
 In the same event Olivia Cornick rode Ronaldo in the Gold Grade 3 Para classes, riding the Team and Individual tests. She achieved 72.65% to take the win in the Individual test, and 70.00% for second place in the Team test.

Huge congratulations to both riders!

We also had two riders competing at the BD RDA Intellectual Disability Championships - please click here to read more.

Olivia also rode Ronaldo for her first international competition at the Bishop Burton CPEDI* in August. With an average score of 67.511% across the Individual, Team and Freestyle classes it was a superb performance.

Olivia and Ronaldo have now been selected for the Keysoe CPEDI** in October - we wish them lots of luck!

British Equestrian Vaulting
Lizzie Bennett travelled to Wales for the Talygarn EC BEV competition at the beginning of August. She was vaulting on a borrowed horse (whom she met for the first time that day) called Celt, owned by Eryri Vaulting Group.

Lizzie led the Para Canter/Walk class from the first round despite a disappointing compulsories score then extended the lead with a freestyle which scored 7.095. She finished on 6.304, comfortably ahead of the second-placed vaulter.
Lizzie and Celt, lunged by Andrew Williamson
Lizzie's next competition is the English Vaulting Championships on the 14th of September, where she hopes to complete her qualification for October's British Vaulting Championships.

Fantastic fundraising by Sharon!

Congratulations and many thanks to our wonderful volunteer, Sharon Butler, who has raised a phenomenal £910 for the Group! Here's how...

"Most of you that know me have never seen me with short hair! I love my long hair, but I have decided to help two charities by getting it cut off!
I am cutting my hair short as I will be donating it to Little Princess Trust. They provide free real hair wigs to children and young people, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.

Most of you also don't know that I volunteer for a local Riding for the Disabled group called Cambs College RDA. They are in desperate need for some more horses and are struggling at the moment with 3 amazing horses that have to be ridden several times each session by different disabled riders. The riders that I support every week are an amazing bunch of young adults that inspire me and recently competed at the RDA National Championships resulting with 3 National champions in our group!"
This is a wonderful sum of money and we're incredibly grateful to Sharon for all of her efforts - it's no mean feat to raise such a huge sum and it will all go to very good us. Thank you, Sharon!

British Dressage & RDA Intellectual Disability Championships

The Group is very proud to have had three of its riders invited to the BD RDA Intellectual Disability Dressage Championships - one in each class! They were:
  • Jodie Williamson (Walk)
  • Emily Lodge (Walk and Trot) 
  • Chris Bradley (Walk, Trot and Canter)
This event is run as part of the British Dressage Para Summer Championships. Riders are invited based on their performance in the RDA Regional Qualifier shows across the country. It is a real honour to be invited to compete so we are extremely proud of all three riders. 

Jodie and Boysie getting some last tips from Gillian

Unfortunately Emily was not able to attend the show, but Jodie and Chris both made the way to Solihull to represent Cambs College RDA. Jodie rode Drunkeen Boy (Boysie), who had made the journey to Solihull with Gillian and Helen, whilst Chris rode his own horse, Quintus.

Jodie rode first and set the bar very high with an amazing score of 72.22%. This saw her win second place, less than 1% behind the first placed rider - an incredible achievement!
Jodie (second in from the left) and fellow prizewinners
Chris also rode very well, scoring 65.52% in the tricky canter test, and finishing tenth.

Many thanks to Helen, Gillian and all our volunteers who helped out on the day and to prepare the riders and horses, and huge congratulations to Emily, Chris and Jodie.
Chris on the far left