The bosses of a commercial property and construction company have created a lasting legacy at their former senior school in Warwickshire.
Robert Wigley, James Davies and James Ellerington, who are respectively chairman, managing director and director of operations at The Wigley Group, have unveiled a new water jump on the equine cross-country course at Princethorpe College.
The College, part of the Princethorpe Foundation, has a strong equestrian tradition and the cross-country course is set within its 200-acre estate off Leamington Road in Princethorpe, Rugby.
As well as being an enhancement to the course, which until now did not have a permanent water jump, the deep pools within the obstacle will be used by pupils as part of their environmental and wildlife studies.
The jump was built by Wigley Building and Development, the construction arm of The Wigley Group, in time for the national riding club and schools competitions hosted by the College.
The two-day horse trials is run by Stoneleigh Riding Club in partnership with Princethorpe College and The Kingsley School, and took place over the last weekend of May.
The Wigley Group is main sponsor of the event, which attracted more than 250 competitors from riding clubs and schools all over the country, with Howkins & Harrison also sponsoring for the first time with plans to extend their support for next year.
Robert said: “The Wigley Group’s connections with Princethorpe College stretch over two generations with my two children having been pupils as well as – by coincidence – myself, James Davies and James Ellerington.
“We wanted to create a water jump for the cross-country course that could also be used by pupils as part of their studies, and it was great to see it being cleared for the first time during the two day event.
“We would like to congratulate all of those who took part in the horse trials and we were delighted to award our new Wigley Group Cup, won by those who achieved the best school team score, to the joint team of Packwood Haugh and The Grange schools.”
Ed Hester, headmaster at Princethorpe College, said: “The water jump is a wonderful addition to our cross-country course and sits in one of the most beautiful parts of our grounds against the backdrop of the main College building.
“The deep pools within the jump will be planted to create an eco-system that can be used in our teaching so it will have an all-year round and multiple use.”
Stoneleigh Riding Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is in the 15th year of running the two day event and has held it at Princethorpe College since 2014, working closely with assistant head Alex Darkes.
Andy Ruyssevelt, vice-chairman of Stoneleigh Riding Club and two day event organiser, said: “The two day event is the only ‘long format’ horse trials in the UK open to schools and riding clubs, which involves dressage, show-jumping, roads and tracks, steeplechase and cross-country disciplines, and is increasingly popular.
“This year was no exception and the unveiling of the water jump was a real highlight in presenting a new and exciting challenge for both riders and spectators to enjoy.”