Equestrian Sport at Dean Close

Dean Close Foundation (DCF) is proud to have a thriving and developing Foundation-wide Equestrian Programme. The programme is open to all pupils from Year 3 through to Sixth Form, at all ability levels; the emphasis is on promoting and developing potential and enjoying experiences with horses and ponies.

Weekly term-time lessons are offered, catering for complete beginners to those who wish to develop and progress their riding. Pupils attend Prestige Equestrian who support those new to riding as well as exceptional Advanced School Masters for both Dressage and Show Jumping for the more advanced riders to continue to progress on.

Riding for the Dean Close Foundation Team

Those pupils who come with or have access to their own horses and ponies can compete for the Foundation at the National Schools Equestrian Association and School Equestrian Games, in Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage.  Pupils compete in the School and Dean Close Foundation teams in a variety of the disciplines to achieve their qualification to the NSEA National, Plate, County Cup and Grass Roots Finals. The Foundation teams have continued to demonstrate excellence at a national level becoming National and Grass Roots Dressage Reserve Champions in 2020 and 2021, and NSEA Plate 90cm and 1m Show Jumping Champions in 2019 and 2021.  Team and squad riders attend termly team training with highly qualified senior instructors.

The DCF Equestrian Programme hosts an annual Interschools Show Jumping competition at Rectory Farm in June. This event now holds National, Elite and Grass Roots Qualifiers for the NSEA. It has grown year on year and often attracts over 200 riders and 40 schools.  It is a great family day out.  

The Dean Close Equestrian programme offers pupils the opportunity to develop their talents, it gives them confidence, individuality and the ability to shine in their chosen sport. Equestrian Scholarships are available for entry at 11+ in the Prep School.


For pupils wishing to bring their own horse to ride during their time at School, Dean Close has strong links with Highnam Court Equestrian and Rectory Farm offering a variety of livery packages.  Support and information is offered by the Director of Equestrian to ensure families find the best fit for their needs.