Update on Thomas Adams Equestrian Team

A school in Shropshire which has launched its first ever equestrian team this month is to enter a national competition.

Despite only forming at the beginning of term, Thomas Adams School in Wem is sending the largest school entry into this weekend’s National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) competition.

The school in entering fourteen pupils into five team and three individual competitions at the autumn schools challenge in Wettenhall, Cheshire.

If they are successful at the regional qualifiers the team will go on to compete at the national NSEA championships in Addington in October.

Team member Lucy Lloyd-Brown, 14 of Wem, said: “I am really excited about the event.

“We have had great fun preparing, it has been a lot of hard work but it will all be worth it.

“It has all happened so quickly but we have a great team and I look forward to every meeting we have.”

Lucy and team mate Beth Horne, also 14 and from Wem, both took part in the Pony Club Nationals over the summer.

The Thomas Adams Equestrian team was launched by maths teacher Rachel Holland who joined the school this month.

Miss Holland has always had an interest in horses.

She said: “I am delighted that I was able to bring something I love to the school.

“Besides teaching the pupils maths and producing great results in the classroom, this is a chance to share something they love.

“From initially asking if anyone was interested in forming a team the response has been unbelievable, the level of interest and support.

“We finalised the team earlier this month and it includes pupils from year seven up to Adams College students.

“I ran a team at my previous school in Salisbury and it is to the benefit of the pupils, just acknowledging their interest and giving them the chance to compete against other schools.

“We have put a lot of work in with the final team and we are really looking forward to our competition this weekend.”

Miss Holland added: “The offer of help and support from fellow colleagues and staff at school has been great in regards to this venture.

“When members of staff are willing to give up their own time to support students in extracurricular activities it speaks volumes about the caring ethos and commitment of the staff to each other and the students.

“I know this means a lot to the students participating because this has afforded them the opportunity to represent the school as a team in what is often a highly individual discipline.”

Another team member, Huw Edwards, 14 of Ellesmere, said: “It will be great to compete against other schools.

“We are taking part in jumping and style competitions, dressage and pure show competitions too.

“We may be new but we are the biggest team and we are determined.”

Liz Dakin, Head Teacher at the school in Lowe Hill Road, said she was originally surprised to hear about the idea.

She said: “I had never contemplated having an equestrian team before, it is not something that you think of when you think of a co-educational 11 to 18 community school.

“I am delighted that we have the expertise to put the team together and lead them to national competitions - it has happened so quickly and the whole school are behind the team.

“With the rural surroundings in Shropshire we hope some of our pupils each year will be interested and this could be a team that grows, going from strength to strength.”

Potential students can also meet the equestrian team at the Open Day being held on October 7 which will include tours of the school at 10.30am and 1.30pm. The school will also be open in the evening on the same day from 5.30pm.

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