VP Equestrian Report
Ask me to show you poetry in motion, and I will show you the horse.
The smell of clean leather and horse sweat is perhaps something that grows on you... but there is most certainly something impressive about watching equestrians and their horses compete – polished from head to hoof and confidently completing various obstacles. This is a wonderful, but very time-consuming sport. It - like most sports - requires a lot of determination, hard work and perseverance. But it is unique in the fact that men and women compete on equal terms because the overall sporting talent is determined by the strength of the horse-equestrian team.
The VP Equestrians had many ambitious dreams for 2010.
This year our first team consisted of eight equestrians and their horses:
- Kelly Hammond and Golden Romeo
- Michaela Dowd and Just the Limit
- Lauren Anderson and Punky
- Susan Chamberlain and Shannahan
- Jennifer Daleman and Strike 1
- Morrigan Halkett and Font Lightstep, and Kara Mia
- Jayde Mangold and Spokesman
- Lindsay Balkwill and Air Supremacy
We competed in the SANEF Schools’ Equestrian League and did exceptionally well! The shows were held in Port Elizabeth, Bathurst and Grahamstown. The VP Equestrians scooped up some excellent individual results. At the end of the season, all of the results from these shows were added up and prizes were awarded to the schools. VP was second overall for dressage and show jumping (competing against six other schools, including Woodridge, Collegiate and St Dominic’s’ Priory). Overall, for all four disciplines (dressage, show jumping, equitation and showing) VP was placed second! There were only a few points between us and the winners – and that’s not sour grapes!
Three of our equestrians (Susan, Michaela and Lindsay) represented EP against Border at the SANEF Schools’ Equestrian League Regional Finals. There we competed against 14 schools, and we did very well, bringing home 1st, 2nd and 3rd places! All three girls and their horses have been selected to represent the Eastern Cape at SANEF Schools’ National Finals.
Michaela (Just the Limit) and Lindsay (Air Supremacy) went to Johannesburg to represent the Eastern Cape Schools’ team at the SANEF Schools’ Equestrian League National Championships. It was an enormous event with over 3000 competitors! This is quite a prestigious event and people from all over South Africa qualify to compete there. They were both awarded colours for representing the Eastern Cape Schools’ Equestrian A Team.
Jayde Mangold (Spokesman and Warrior Rex) competed at the Eastern Cape Junior Championships in George (a junior is an equestrian between 13 and 19 years old). This is a hugely competitive event and there are many top class equestrians vying for prizes. She did very well and attained some excellent results, including winning the Eastern Cape Junior Open Equitation Championships.
Morrigan also competes in polocrosse (a high speed form of lacrosse played on horseback) and has done very well. She has played many games in both Port Elizabeth and Durban and recently went to a tournament in Cape Town. She has received several awards for being the best player in her position at tournaments. This year she earned her EP polocrosse colours for representing the EP U16A polocrosse team, which is exceptional!
Organising an equestrian event is no small feat. There is no way an event can run without the much needed help from dedicated individuals, who are willing to give up some of their weekends to help with tasks such as timekeeping, the totalling of scores and goal judging . At VP we have some shining stars who offer their help. A special mention must be made of Tehillah Keller, Tate and Maxine Roloefse and Amy Gair, who willingly gave some of their precious weekend time.
Overall, 2010 has been an enormously successful year on our part and we’ve kept the VP flag flying high! None of this would have been possible without the awesome support we receive from the school and our parents. A gigantic thank you goes to Mrs Goldberg (who took over from Mrs Martindale when she left). She has done a brilliant job of organising and encouraging! We would also like to thank Mr Vermaak, Mr Potgeiter, Mrs McLeod and everyone who has helped to encourage equestrian as a school sport.