A SCHOOL equestrian team is celebrating after competing at the highest level.

Barnard Castle School took part in the National Schools Equestrian Association County Championships securing their places among the top competitors in the country.

Riding in both show jumping and dressage competitions, they put in impressive team and individual performances at a recent four day national competition in Buckinghamshire.

The success comes as the team builds an impressive reputation with riders excelling in the three equine disciplines of dressage, show jumping and eventing, competing consistently at a national level for NSEA, British Show Jumping, the Pony Club, British Riding Clubs and British Eventing, as well as in British Dressage.

The team included Ruby Smith, 13, of Winston, Evie Hole-Todd, 14, of Gainford, Ruby Todd, 15, of Richmond, and team captain Charlotte Martin, 18, of Stainton.

In the show jumping, Ruby Smith on Ezariosa Z, Evie Hole-Todd on Cooliney Star and Ruby Todd on Burnlea Colleen Bui were placed fourth nationally in the 90cm category, just one second outside of third place.

In dressage, there were six separate competitions with Barnard Castle riders competing in five.

In the Individual Prelim Championships, Charlotte Martin and her 12-year-old horse Volatis Diva scored 77, the highest mark in the competition in a field of 20 to take the individual first prize.

Charlotte Martin said: “It’s Diva’s first year doing dressage and she can live up to her name. But she loves the big occasions and rises to them. Anything above 65 per cent is acceptable, 70 is good so 77 was amazing. I wasn’t really expecting much but she looks so pretty she can get away with it even if she makes a mistake. I was so proud of how she performed and the Barney team.”

In the Team Prelim competition 18 teams battled it out with Barnard Castle missing out on first place by 0.46 of a point.

Miss Martin claimed the highest marks while Ruby Smith on Bailey was 15th out of 32 competitors.

In the second arena, Evie on Glenbeech Toffee II took second and Ruby Todd on Bayview Prince was 24th out of 36 competitors.

The Warm Up Dressage saw Evie Hole-Todd take first place with Glenbeech Toffee II and Ruby Smith took fourth with Bailey XV and ninth with Nero.

Earlier in the year, the four-month Pop Up Dressage competition saw Evie Hole-Todd take the overall first place and Ruby Smith placed both sixth on Bailey XV and 9th on Nero.

In the Pop Up Finals Evie Hole-Todd finished second on Glenbeech Toffee II while Ruby Smith claimed sixth with Bailey and seventh with Nero.

Headmaster Tony Jackson said: “This is an incredible result for the girls and something the whole school is very proud of.

“We strive to instil in all our students a love of their respective interests and this feat is testament to their hard work, talent and dedication.”