The Brentwood School Equestrian Team - Charlotte Cooke, Ellie Burrell, Sophie Philpot, Imogen Pohl, Niamh Mills, Emma Philpot, Grace Parrish and Thomas Philpot - enjoyed a truly spectacular set of results at the 2017 NSEA National Championships.
Throughout the season, the young riders had worked incredibly hard, competing against schools from across the country, to qualify for the four-day championships held at the Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, Buckinghamshire.
Team Manager Ms Kelly Miller paid tribute to the riders, their parents, and of course the ponies, for their unstinting dedication and hard work. “A special thank you has to go to Team Coach Mrs Annette Philpot, who has worked incredibly hard to support the school, riders and parents over the course of the year,” she added.
Jumping with Style, Sophie Philpot, Charlotte Cooke, Niamh Mills and Imogen Pohl were crowned national champions in the 75cm event - a super debut for Charlotte on her first outing for Brentwood. Imogen Pohl also achieved an incredible individual win; testament to her hard work and dedication.
On the second day, Brentwood had a fantastic win in the Regional Points Championships (mixed heights) winning by over 6 seconds to their nearest rivals, Peebles High School, in Scotland.
The whole team, consisting of Charlotte Cooke and Imogen Pohl (70cm), Grace Parrish (80cm), Emma Philpot and Ellie Burrell (90cm) and Thomas Philpot (who rode a super round over the 100cm) put in some very skilful performances. Thomas exceeded the majority of riders, with only a handful nationally jumping a clear round over this height.
The Brentwood team was really on a roll by the third day when the 90cm Show Jumping team, consisting of Grace Parrish, Thomas Philpot, Emma Philpot and Ellie Burrell, beat 50 teams across the nation by a thrilling 0.03 seconds to be crowned National Champions.
Grace jumped with determination and produced the first important, path finding clear and managed a cheeky turn to the last fence too. This left the other three team members to focus on speed, which they did. Thomas rode a super round, demonstrating incredible skill by turning a big horse around tight corners accurately and fast. Emma focused on one of her many strengths, stylish speed, and last to go Ellie whizzed around in her usual accurate, reliable and extremely quick style. This team was the only team out of 50 to have all four riders clear over both rounds.
Emma Philpot and Ellie Burrell then jumped for England in the 90cm Nations Cup against Wales and Scotland. They were the last two to ride at 10:45pm. The pressure was intense as they needed a fast but clear round as two of the team had faulted before them. Both riders embraced the pressure and England won ending a 'Super Saturday' for Brentwood.
In addition, the Brentwood riders showed a depth to their talent with a 13th placing in the dressage. This team, consisting of Charlotte Cooke, Imogen Pohl, Emma Philpot and Grace Parrish, were less than 4% away from the winners.
A final accolade was achieved by Sophie Philpot who was brilliant runner up in the British Eventing 80 Points League. This sport relies on the rider’s skill, intense training and dedication to the ponies. The bond between a rider and their pony is essential for trust and skill.
Ms Miller said: “A special thanks has to go to Mr Les Squibb for his generous sponsorship throughout the year and Nuclear Races for the Cross Country Skins. Finally, thank you to the parents who have driven the riders across the country for Brentwood School to achieve these amazing individual and team titles.”