Biggest ever entry for Kilgraston Equestrian Championships

The Kilgraston Scottish Schools Equestrian Championships took place at Howe Equestrian Centre near Auchtermuchty in Fife earlier this month.

The event is the school’s biggest event in the equestrian calendar, running showjumping and dressage qualifiers for the National Schools Equestrian Championships.

Having been suspended because of Covid lockdown in 2021, the normally annual event returned with over 150 horse and rider combinations and 330 entries, proving the biggest entry to date. Ten hours of dressage and showjumping ran simultaneously across three arenas: Kilgraston alone entered 14 teams.

More good news came in the form of Mother Nature, who provided wall-to-wall sunshine and clear skies all day.

The Kilgraston Equestrian Championships day starts with younger and less experienced riders, with a walk/trot dressage test and 55cm showjumping, showcasing future talent.

The event had huge entries from Gordonstoun, Dollar and Strathallan schools, all putting forward 10+ team of riders through the day; Dollar Academy taking the sashes in Class 1 dressage and Gordonstoun in class 5, the 55cm show jumping.

The day continued with Kilgraston’s youngest riders winning Class 2 dressage, all three of which were making their school championships debut.

With numbers being so large the prelim dressage was split into two section, one for those wishing to try and qualify for the National School Equestrian Championships at Keysoe, Bedfordshire, in October and the other competing for their school with very large entries in both sections.

The show jumping also progressed with classes up to 1.10m and the top four riders and two teams in each class qualifying for the National Championships.

Riders from as far south as Sedburgh in Cumbria; north from St Margaret’s in Aberdeen and west from Arran High School on the Isle of Arran, turned out to try and gain the valuable qualification certificates.

Winners included pupils from Strathallan, Kilgraston, Glasgow Academy, Jedburgh Grammer, Longridge Towers, Gordonstoun and Glenalmond College.

A fantastic day was had by all.

Kilgraston is an independent, day and boarding, school for girls aged from five to 18 and boys aged five to 12. The head teacher is Dorothy MacGinty. It is based in Bridge of Earn, just south of Perth and has 265 pupils. 2020 marked the school’s ninetieth anniversary. Pupils attend Kilgraston from throughout the world and study the Scottish SQA’s curriculum.