The National Team Jumping Championship was the last competition in Arena 3 for the British Showjumping National Championships 2019. Horses and riders travelled from all around the UK to contest the final. The elated winners were the Surrey Heath team with team captain Nicholas Edwards and team manager Abigail Graves.
A total of five teams went into the jump off where one rider from each team goes in to represent their team. Team captain, Nicholas Edwards was the selected rider to go into the jump off and won on a time of 44.83 seconds. Nicholas said of the team “every team member has contributed to the win, everyone jumped at least a clear, we all put a lot of effort into it and it’s paid off”.
Nicholas’ teammates are Gemma Davies, Lisa Bray and Rachel Dorrell. Nicholas was not originally meant to compete with this team but when Sebastien Poirier was forced to pull out due to an injury he sustained, Nicholas stepped in at the last minute to help the team clinch the win. A true team player, Sebastien said he knew he “couldn’t do it justice and didn’t want to let the team down” but he played his part by jumping clear in the qualifier to help the team get into the final.
Rachel Dorrell described how it was “a well-built course that asked a few questions but nothing impossible. I had 4 faults in the first round which meant I had to up my game, I took a slightly different turn to some of the fences and it paid off because I went clear in the second round.”
Narrowly missing out on the title last year, the Surrey Heath team came back this year determined to be crowned the winners. They were on the phone to team manager, Abigail Graves, soon after the win and she was so pleased and says she “feels like a proud mum and wishes she was there”. Having managed the team for the last 2 years her excellent supervision and direction has paid off as the team achieved their dreams of winning the title.
The whole team chimed in to describe how “riding in a team is very different to doing it for yourself” because despite the added pressure there is a “really good atmosphere and fantastic camaraderie between all the teams”.
The National Teams consist of four competitors with each combination jumping at different heights, 90cm, 1.00m, 1.10m and 1.15m. The horses jumping at 90cm and a 1.00m must at the start of qualifying be registered at Grade C and those jumping 1.10m and 1.15m can be registered at any grade.