An unbridled enthusiasm for high school’s equestrian team.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

An unbridled enthusiasm for high school’s equestrian team. thumbnail Melissa McKinstry sits proudly on Silver while Rosey Herron shows off her rosette.

IT HAS been a decade since Rathfriland High School had an equestrian team, but thanks to the enthusiasm shown by pupils and the support of their parents a new team has been setup.

Set up at the beginning of the new school term in September, the team has taken part in their first competition - finishing in the top 10 - and there are more events on the horizon.

Principal Mrs McCullough said: "We are very proud of the pupils and the parents who approached the school with the idea of setting the equestrian team up.

"It has been 10 years since our school had a team so it is great to have it up and running again.

The team had their first equestrian competition earlier this month and were placed sixth out of 30 teams, a very well deserved and fantastic ranking." Currently the school has one team consisting of four members, but they are keen to grow on this and hopefully have a second team.

Parent Johanna Herron, mother to Rosey (11) who is in first year, said it is through the parents coming together and their children's dedication and passion for the sport that the group started.

Johanna was involved in approaching the school and said she was very pleased with the outcome.

"My daughter Rosey has always loved horse-riding and shows, so along with other parents we felt that the children would greatly benefit from a school team.

"The children were keen to start it up and so we made some enquiries.

"There is really good comradeship within the team and all the parents of the team members are keen to help out.

"We are also keen to encourage pupils to get in touch if they are interested in joining and setting up a second team.

"On behalf of the parents and the children I would like to thank the school for being so supportive in this new venture." Former Rathfriland High School pupils Jason and Clive Camlin are sponsoring the team as part of their new business 'Precision-NI'.

Jason commented: "The new equestrian team is a fantastic idea as we don't see too many clubs like this in public schools.

"It is great to see families getting involved with it and there has been positive feedback since it commenced.

"We felt that sponsoring the team would be a great way to give something back. We will be kitting each horse out with its own numnah with the school's crest on it and our business logo."

The equestrian team's next event is the league at the Meadows Equestrian Centre in Lurgan.


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