Ratcliffe’s equestrian team compete in the National Schools Equestrian Association competitions (NSEA). Anyone can join the team, as long as you have a horse or pony that you can ride in these competitions.
The NSEA hold dressage, show-jumping and arena eventing competitions, ranging from grass roots (40 – 70 cm jumping, walk and trot dressage) to the main competitions (70 – 1.10 jumping classes. Each rider can compete either as individuals, or as teams of 3 – 4 riders. Our teams have consisted of a range of ages and experience, which gives a friendly supportive environment to compete in. NSEA has two main competition series, the County Challenge, which has regional qualifications through the winter, with the County Championships in April, and the National Championships, which have qualifications mainly through the spring and summer for the National Championships in October, and the Championship Plate in December. Most of the riders organise their own training, but there are opportunities to train with others in the team. Professor Sarah Freeman is the schools team manager and coordinate teams, submits competition entries and help with logistics on the day.
We have a number of successful riders in recent years including:
- Oliver Jackson (GB Eventing)
- Fred Jackson (U14 England Mounted games)
Ratcliffe has had individuals and teams compete successfully at dressage and show-jumping this year and in previous years. In March 2017, we had three individual riders who were Leicestershire Show-jumping County Champions (Connie Mensley 80cm, Jade England 1m, and Elsi Jacques 1.10m), and three who were runners up (Connie Mensley 70cm, Brooke England 80cm, and Elsi Jacques on another of her ponies in the 1.10m). Two of our teams won their team section of the county qualifiers – (1m show-jumping team of Elsi Jacques, Tabitha Kyle and Jade England, and a dressage team of Annie Bridgewood, Olivia Crawley, Jade England and Brooke England).
In June 2017, we had one team win (dressage team of Daisy Watson, Brooke England and Jade England), and one individual win in the show-jumping (Elsi Jacques in the 1.10m classes). Elsi qualified one pony for the NSEA National Championships in the 1m class and 2 ponies in the 1.10 class, she also qualified two ponies in the 1m class and 1 pony in the 1.10 class for the Championship Plate, in December 2017. Both Brooke and Daisy also got individual qualifications for the Championship Plate based on their individual dressage placings.