Profiles on Riders at Culford
Hannah Hilsum (Senior School)
Hannah has a new Horse called Tardebigge Romeo (Fred) and competes in all disciplines. She belongs to the Essex and Suffolk Pony Club and attends all their rallies, summer camp and competitions. She has represented the Essex and Suffolk Pony Club at Area Dressage and attends NSEA events for Culford School. They are competing currently at 80-90cm. Hannah and Fred won a showjumping competition this February which allows them to qualify for the 2nd rounds of the Trailblazer Championships in Warwickshire later on this year. She also has had a fabulous last couple of years successfully competing on her previous pony Hobnob including qualifying and competing at Hickstead. She plans to take her new horse to some of the county shows in the showing classes later this year too.
Leah Fitton (Prep School)
Leah has been riding for four years and has a pony called Bryn. She started riding as an activity choice at Prep School towards the end of Lower First and realised straight away that she loved it. After learning the basics, she was invited to join the school equestrian group, which at the time were travelling to Newton Hall for a session each week. This helped with her confidence and ability a great deal and provided her with an opportunity to begin taking part in some inter-schools competitions. Leah and Bryn have been lucky enough to take part in various unaffiliated competitions at venues around the county, where they have fun and are happy when they come away with a rosette. Over the summer Leah did her first One Day Event where she received the best member for our pony club. Leah takes part in the equestrian programme on a Monday evening at Barrow Hall Stables and continues to adore all things pony.
Libby Hart (Prep School)
Libby Hart has been riding since she was five. While she enjoys competing at show jumping at a local level and with the NSEA Culford team, her main discipline is dressage. She is currently competing at NSEA Novice Level but moving into 2017, we will see Libby move up to Intermediate Level on her horse Marbon Marbaya (affectionately known as Arnie). Libby is under training with renowned German dressage coach, Gerda Warner and has also trained with Sylvia Loch and Uwe Spenlen. Libby is a new member of British Dressage and her schedule for 2017 will see her compete at the Quest National Championship on an individual level as well as Regional Championships at Bronze level. She will also be hoping to qualify for the Petplan National Finals too.
Eve Totman (Prep School)
Eve is currently in Lower Second and is in her third year of riding for Culford within the NSEA. Last year was a difficult year for Eve, as a change of horse set her back and her confidence was thwarted! Thankfully Eve is now thriving with new pony Monty. Monty is an Arab X and 12-years-old. Eve and Monty have just begun competing together and, although the new partnership had some teething problems, she’s now flying with a speedy steed! Success includes a sixth-place within a team showjumping competition, a fifth individual showjumping and more recently two firsts, which she is very proud of! Eve enjoys not only competing but being part of the Suffolk Hunt pony club, where she loves cross country and being part of the tetrathlon team. Eve is pony mad and is currently saving her pocket money to buy a horse lorry.
Ursula Brown has been riding for around 6 years. She has a pony called Bobby and he is 14.1hh Connemara. Ursula has loaned him for a year, and owned him for a year and a half. He is very spooky but she is working towards being able to compete for the school team. Ursula said, "the school riding lessons have helped me gain my confidence after a knock back a couple of years ago. Everyone at Culford is very kind and supportive. I like riding because of the connection with the horses and the joy of achieving something you've been working hard on. This year I would like to compete at a mini event on Bobby."
Sally has been riding since she was very young and has her own pony called Noffy, who is a 14:2hh bright bay, gelding. She has had him since the end of last summer, having just grown out of her old pony called Domino, who Sally competed 90-95cm in eventing, and qualified for the National Championships in eventing three times in a row. Noffy and Sally compete regularly at 1m, mainly in eventing but quite often showjumping.
"This year I would love to qualify for the National Championships again but this time at 1m level, and it would also be great to do well for the school at the NSEA competitions as I have only recently joined the equestrian team, after coming to Culford this September."
Nina has been riding horses for almost 11 years. Her favourite horse is Bondy, a 12 years old 14.2 horse, who she has known for 6 years. Nina believes that horse riding has helped her with her core strength, her confidence, patience and tenacity. The thing Nina likes most about horse riding is being able to spend time with your horse and developing a good bond with them. She said: "I would like to compete with the school and get placed in the top 6. I most enjoyed competing at forest edge as I got round the course with only 1 refusal, and the horse I was riding (Misty) gained a lot of confidence from me, which I thought was really amazing."
Connie Fitton (Prep School)
Connie is in Lower Second and has been riding her pony Bryn for almost a year now. Connie started riding at Barrow Hall Stables when she was seven and her interest for it has grown. Connie adores Bryn, who is a 13.2 hands high 22-year-old Welsh Section C with a cheeky character. Together they both have a love of speed and cantering around without a care in the world! Connie is learning a great deal about riding from Bryn as he can have his moments, but she is managing this admirably.
They have been doing some competitions, recently riding for their pony club and they are hoping to have the opportunity to compete for the school within throughout 2018/19.
Connie is also learning the Welsh names for Bryns treats from the Senior School Headmaster, Mr Johnson-Munday, who supports the equestrian programme and comes to see the riders during training. Connie has just about mastered Welsh for carrot, moron!
Poppy Hawkins (Prep School)
Poppy has been riding since she was four years old. She has had her current pony, Lucky, for 18 months and they have had a great deal of success at dressage, qualifying for the National My Quest Finals at Intro in 2017, when Poppy was just eight years old and recently coming 6th in the 2018 regional finals in the under 21 section. Poppy is a member of the Soham Pony Club, has weekly lessons with UKCC coach Sam Huggan, attends BD training and also has lessons with Ruth Hurst dressage when time allows. They have recently started competing SJ and eventing and hope to represent the School in dressage and jumping this year.
Matilda attends horse riding lessons on a Monday. She normally rides Henry, a 14-year-old, grey 15.2h horse. Matilda says: "Henry and Chloe and my favourite horses and this is my second year riding, I love jumping and I’ve recently just moved up a group!"