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Sunday, 14 May 2017

British Showjumping Area Team Qualifiers

Yesterday (Saturday 13th May), we swapped a trip up to Floors Castle horse trials with a trip to Northallerton Equestrian centre to watch the area team qualifiers class. I voluntarily sit on the committee for area 12 (Northumberland & Tyne and Wear) to look after their social media, and while I know a fair bit about that, I know almost NOTHING about showjumping!

I took the opportunity to head down, not only to support the team, but to learn a bit more about the sport, its rules and enjoy a morning of showjumping. It did mean a bit of an early start, leaving Northumberland at 6.45am to arrive in good time.

My showjumping coach had been asked to go down to help warm riders up throughout the class, as well as giving opportunity for a UKCCL2 coach to shadow and learn towards their own coaching progression. We travelled down together and I joined them in the warm up, listening to how they were warming up riders and horses, as well as standing close by when it was our riders' turn in the ring.

I really enjoy group lessons as well as watching other people ride - I find I learn a lot. Sometimes more than I do in my one to one lessons because I'm not so fixed and concentrated on me & Louie, and can put it into an outsider's perspective.

Anyway....back to the the qualifiers!

If you enjoy showjumping and are competitive already jumping around classes of 90cm - 1.15m, I'd really recommend it. It can be a great opportunity to represent your area & you can access some fantastic training through the various schemes that are available (these change depending on which area you are from).

Listening from on the ground, a lot of riders seemed to really be enjoying the buzz of being part of a team, and although some of them felt the pressure more than they would when competing individually, it was great to see all of the area riders sitting and standing together, as well as walking the course together & asking each other about it. Unfortunately, neither team qualified, however a group of riders at the end were talking about where the next qualifier is so that they can go and give it a go again.

While I'm not yet a convert to showjumping, it would be something that I'd take the opportunity to be involved with in the future. If team events are you're thing, find out how to get involved in your area - you just need to be a full British Showjumping member!

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