A talented cadet from Meopham is riding high after her squad was crowned Best UK Team at this year’s Uniformed Services Show Jumping Competition, Woolwich, beating 12 experienced mounted units from the likes of the Military Intelligence, Royal Logistics Corp and Police.

Sophie Green, 14, who attends Gad’s Hill School, Higham won one of four places on the UK Combined Cadet Force (CCF) team, after beating 25 riders from all over the country in a selection competition at the home of the Light Cavalry, Windsor, in early October.

Sophie, who joined the British Show Jumping Association aged at just 10 years old, usually rides her ponies Tippy and Lulu, but for the competition at The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery was loaned a horse – called Bee – by the contest’s hosts. Their massively strong horses are usually used to pulling 1 ½ tonne guns instead of going over jumps, with Sophie finding out that she had to use some competent riding to persuade her horse to go the course in the warm-up.

She said: “My King’s Troop horse was quite a handful, she threw me in the warm up and was annoyed that she was made to jump after she’d eaten, mind you it was the first time we’d met and ridden together!

“Out of the 14 teams in the competition, three had the advantage of using their own horses, so I was really pleased to be a part of the Best UK Team Riding a Kings Troop Horse, especially when you think that many of the riders had a lot more experience than our team.”

Each year, members from Armed Services worldwide are invited to participate competition, with this year including entries from the mounted units of The Kings Troop, The French Reserve Forces, The Belgian Reserve Forces, The Royal Air Force, The Dutch Royal Guards Forces, Bedfordshire Police and Avon and Somerset Police.

The competition was judged over two rounds of jumps with the best three individual scores to count towards the overall team result, with the CCF team being placed third overall, an excellent result given that the two teams that beat them were competing on their own horses.

Sophie, who is studying for her BTEC in Public Services added: “I was honoured, if a little shocked, to be picked for CCF cadet team. I felt very proud to represent them and loved the opportunity to compete against people who have been riding at national and international level – I’d love to be able to do it again!”