Felicity Sutherland, 16, of Braemar College, took part in her first Interschool equestrian event when she was in Grade 1 in 2013, on her first pony, Rivington Victoria. She says these events – including those in the VEIS series – provide a good competition platform and introduction to EA events.
“I think the level of competition for Interschool sits between Pony Club and EA. As a young rider we are offered many super Young Rider competitions through EA, however, the Interschool events are fun with friends across all disciplines, and it’s been great making new friends from other schools!” explains Felicity, who is primarily focused on dressage.
“The VEIS series also offers a second chance to qualify to represent Victoria at Nationals [which this year will be held at Werribee in late September] – the top two in each class at the State Championships and in the VEIS make up the four combinations for each team in each class,” she explains.
This year’s series has been successful for Felicity, who was named the overall series Small Tour Champion with horse Estée, a Dutch warmblood mare purchased by her family just before Covid. “She hadn’t competed at all, so we really took a risk buying her,” explains Felicity. “We had to retire from her first few Novice tests! However, we’ve been patient with her training and building trust and now she is competing confidently at Small Tour, which is really exciting!”
Although she wasn’t relying on the series for state team selection with Estée – having already qualified at the State Championships for what will be her sixth Victorian team – Felicity says she still attended all VEIS events as she says it was fun competing at the different host venues around the state.
And besides, there was also the added incentive of a beautiful trophy rug on offer courtesy of RB Sellars. “Who doesn’t love winning a woollen rug!” declares Felicity. “The championship RB Sellars rugs are a beautiful wool; we use woollen rugs on all our horses, as living in Romsey they need to be warm. They are a great prize to receive!”