Woodbridge Riders Compete at NSEA County Dressage Championships
Over the Easter holidays a team of Woodbridge riders competed at the NSEA County Dressage Championships at Addington Manor in Buckinghamshire. The team of Caragh Paul, Rowena Wilson-Smith, Tabitha Wilson-Smith and Oliver Reid were Suffolk County Champions at a competition at Easton College earlier this year. There were 19 counties from all over the country competing, with four riders in each team, so this was a big event involving an overnight stay for most, for horses and riders. The team finished 9th overall with a very competitive aggregate score of 68.01, with all four riders achieving scores in the 60s. Several teams finished with an aggregate score of 68 and a fraction more, so the team were unlucky not to finish in the top placings. However Rowena Wilson-Smith won the warm up class and had the highest score in her arena, whilst Caragh Paul had the highest overall score in the team. All riders rode extremely well and remembered their test perfectly. This is no mean feat, particularly as the atmosphere at these big competition venues, with so many horses, is electric and the horses (and riders!) naturally respond to this. All four riders in a team ride in adjacent arenas at the same time so the riders really do have to have a high degree of focus, as well as control and accuracy. Oliver, at 12, was the youngest rider but held his own magnificently. The team were turned out beautifully, with horses neatly plaited and riders immaculate. All the riders were supportive of one another and conducted themselves very professionally so the whole event was enjoyable and the riders should be very proud of themselves; they were a great credit to the School.