The Dean Close Foundation Equestrian Teams excelled themselves this Michaelmas Half Term.  Our Director of Equestrianism, Fleur Cradock, reports on the teams’ successes.


Over 120 schools competed at the NSEA 2021 National Finals at Keysoe International Equestrian Centre, the biggest Finals ever hosted!  We competed in both the Dressage and Show Jumping Team Finals, as well as Individual Dressage.


Dean Close Dressage has gone from strength to strength and the riders shone at the nationals. Year 7 Ella-Grace qualified


for both the Prelim and Novice National Finals, riding a fluent test, she was placed 9th in the Prelim. In the Novice, Ella-Grace stepped it up and posted a score of 70%, resulting in her taking 7th place.  As one of the youngest riders in the Final, this was a huge achievement – congratulations Ella-Grace!


At the Team event, National Team Captain Mimi and Alice (both Upper 6), Sophie (Year 10) and Ella-Grace competed against 32 school teams for the National placings. Sophie on her impressive Lusitano stallion rode an outstanding test, achieving 82.4%; the highest dressage score achieved on the day by any rider.  With strong performances all round, our Dean Close Foundation team took 2nd place and become NSEA Reserve National Dressage Champions. An outstanding achievement for all the riders.


In Show Jumping, our team of Alice, Mimi, Estella (Lower 6), Corrina (Year 10) and Gabriel (Year 9) competed in both the 90cms and 1m National Finals. The 1m team jumped good rounds but, with a few poles rolling and some of the younger horses finding their first nationals a little overwhelming, the team finished a very credible 11th out of the 28 teams. The 90cms team rolled just 1 pole in the 3 rounds, finishing 14th out of 42 teams. Two great results with young riders and young horses.


The NSEA Eventer Challenge National Qualifiers at Rectory Farm (once again sponsored by the Dean Close Foundation Equestrian Programme), was a huge success with over 30 schools in attendance and classes full all day.


The Dean Close Foundation riders in the 90cms Team were Upper 6 pupils Mimi, Bella and Alice and Year 10 Corinna. The team rode great rounds and was placed 2nd, qualifying for the National Finals at Hickstead.   At Individual, Mimi took 5th and Corinna was placed 7th.


The 1m team saw Emily (OD, 2021) return as an NSEA ambassador competing with Mimi, Alice and Bella. Dean Close rode through a technical course to win the 1m and take their qualification to the Finals at Hickstead also. Bella took Individual 2nd and her place at the Finals.


This was another proud day for the Dean Close Foundation Equestrian Programme and all the riders. Our thanks to Pleasance Jewitt and all her team at Rectory Farm, and congratulations to all the competing teams and individuals for performing so well on the day.