Set in 2,000 acres of North Yorkshire countryside, Ampleforth College prides itself on its outdoor curriculum and the new Equestrian Arena, which was opened recently, is the latest addition to the sporting facilities available to our the students. We have a proud history of Equestrian athletes; a number of former students have achieved great success in the Equestrian world including Michael ‘Mouse’ Morris (W66), Peter Savill (J65) and Thomas Tate (O65) all involved in the racing industry and Lissa Green (M07) and Christopher Bartle (A69) in the Eventing world.
Christopher Bartle officially opened our new waxed sand/fibre 60 x 40m Outdoor Arena, which was installed by local company Hymas Arenas. The new facility, which includes Dressage and Show Jump facilities, will enhance the opportunities for day pupils to train and prepare for the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) and other events. Currently, we have riders representing the school in Eventing, Show Jumping, Dressage and Jumping with Style Competitions. Training with specialists will be arranged for the students, providing them with every opportunity to succeed in their chosen discipline.
Christopher Bartle, British Eventing’s High Performance Coach also holds Masterclasses for students and two students each year receive a number of lessons from Christopher, which are paid for by the College.
The College currently has an up and coming Eventing star in Issy Saxby. Issy has been selected to join the British Eventing Under 18 Development squad, and travelled to Ireland in the Summer holidays to take part in the Millstreet International Horse Trials as part of the 12 strong development squad. This is a great reward for Issy who juggles her riding and competing with a busy academic timetable and being a member of the school’s hockey team too. Issy now has the opportunity to train between her lessons at the College on the new facility. Alex Verth recently competed in the Dodson and Horrell National Amateur Show Jumping Championships held at Aintree International Equestrian Centre too. So hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will have yet another international rider amongst the Equestrian team!
The school have a busy equestrian team who recently attended the NSEA Eventing Championships and the NSEA Show Jumping/Jumping with Style Championships, with one student, Madison Chapman, representing two schools at the Championships. Madison qualified for the Championships for her prep school before moving to the College in September, she then qualified for the College too. Madison could soon be following in the footsteps of Issy Saxby and Christopher Bartle!
Congratulations must also go to the students who attended the Show Jumping at Epworth Equestrian Centre at the weekend – they were placed in all four classes they entered, teams finishing 2nd in the 80cm class, 3rd in the 90cm class, 3rd in the 1m class, with individual placings in the 90, 1m and 1.10 classes!
Eliz Cook, Equestrian Coordinator at the school who project managed the installation of the arena, says: “we are delighted with the new facility; Hymas Arenas have completed the arena to a very high standard, which incorporates a mounting block within the perimeter fence, and rounded corners, which encourages the rider to use all the space available to them, and makes maintenance of the arena easier too. A full set of show jumps and cross country fences, alongside dressage facilities are now available for training. The installation of this new facility demonstrates the school’s commitment to developing and nurturing the confidence and competency of our equestrian teams.”
Eliz, who lived locally as a child and rode through the woods surrounding the new site of the arena daily, dreamt as a child that she would be part of the equestrian team at Ampleforth College, so was overwhelmed to see not only her dream come to fruition, but to see the students now benefitting from this wonderful facility.