Top effort from school equestrians

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Teams from Waitaki Girls’ High School and St Kevin’s College travelled to the Geraldine Pony Club to compete in the Sandalwood Trophy over the weekend.

The Sandalwood Trophy is an Equestrian Dressage and Showjumping event  that is contested by teams from the Aoraki Secondary Schools, hosted by the South Canterbury Pony Club and held at the Orari Racecourse.

The Waitaki team of Baely Wilson, Katie Benschop, Tylar Ward, Paige Hardwick, Alena Reading and Rebecca Sheate produced six impressive dressage tests followed by six clear rounds of showjumping to take out second place overall, going down to the Craighead Diocesan School team by a narrow margin.

Despite the slim defeat, Waitaki bounced back in style to take out the prize for the Overall Presentation and Turnout.

Disappointingly for St Kevin’s one horse pulled up lame, putting the team out of contention for a placing, but each member of the side came away from the day with personal bests.

Caitlin Middlemiss competed for the first time on her new mount ‘Penny’ and produced a fine display in both the dressage and jumping.

Georgia Sillibourne jumped a new height, despite a very stubborn ‘Bess’ and Monique Sage, on ‘Bruno,’ posted her best jumping and dressage results.

Ella Sanderson faced the challenge of competing on another rider’s horse but managed the dressage and had a clear jumping round.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: ALENA READING – Waitaki Girls’ High School’s Katie Benschop on Kohekoke Paddy.