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Schools saddle up! Part 1

Research has already linked physical activity to improvements in achievement; studies from the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee, for example, found that intensive exercise boosted the performance of teenagers in English, maths and science. This is partly because physical activity improved brain function, but sport has also been show to improve resilience and independence. So in celebrations of National School Week (25th - 29th June) we caught up with some young event riders to find out how their school supports their sport, first up is Xanthe De Wesselow who goes to Queen Margaret's.

Why do you love eventing so much?
Because it combines three elements of riding and so, in a competition, placings can change all the time meaning no matter how the first or second bit may go, there is time to improve. Also, cross country is so much fun! 

What’s the highest level you have competed at in eventing?
CCI1* level, Pony Trials, ONU18. 

What’s your favourite event?
A tie between Withington Manor, Gloucestershire, and Frickley Park, Yorkshire. I also love Belsay Horse Trials, our event at home, but I haven’t been able to compete there for the last two years because it clashes with British Pony Championships at Brand Hall! 

How do you juggle school work and eventing?
It can be hard to juggle school and eventing sometimes, but I try to stay on top of all my work when I am at school. Plus, I am always in the horse box for hours on long journeys so can use this time to work if needs be.  

What would be your top tip for other students juggling school and eventing?
Top tip would be work as hard as you can and keep on top of work when you are at school so that you can fully enjoy eventing and not worry about school when you’re not there! 

How does your school make it easy for you to event?
Queen Margaret's are really supportive of me doing all my eventing, meaning I can get time off to do training and go to competitions. It’s really useful being allowed to get some time off during the week so I can have riding lessons and practice. 

Do you take part in any other sports?
I do lacrosse, netball and tennis at school. I really like all of them, but I definitely do riding the most out of any sport.