Varsity 2017: Equestrian Competition
The weather was on the side of both teams today as Trenley Riding Centre was lit with lovely sunshine, welcoming the first half of the day – the dressage competition!
Dressage began with the first of the three tiers of difficulty. There was great form displayed by Kent’s Intro and Prelim 1 riders. CCCU faced some obstacles in their Intro tests, with some uncompleted steps likely meaning a loss of points for the team. The highest tier for dressage is clearly the most challenging; success is even more reliant upon the rider’s precise movement. The horse’s nature is always an extraneous variable, and CCCU encountered some trouble in the most advanced tier when the horse didn’t change its pace upon instruction. Judging from the overall performance from each team, UKC seemed more likely to secure points from today’s dressage.
After a break half-way through the day, the team’s went on to compete in the jumping competition, which involves riding through an unseen course with numbered jumps. This part of the day was split into a mini-jump course and a higher-jump course.
CCCU took the reins first, and Vinnie the horse was immediately spooked by the sound of the starting horn! However, the run was smooth and the only obvious penalty was from knocking the posts over in the second-to-last jump. The final two CCCU riders in the mini-jump category did not knock over any jumps and cleared the course.
Similarly, out of Kent’s mini-jump competitor’s two riders avoided knocking any posts over in their jumps. Unfortunately, the final rider overshot jump number 5 and ended up redoing the latter quarter of the course.
The final part of the afternoon involved the higher-jump competition; of Kent’s three jumpers, two ended up knocking over the posts of one jump yet were impressive to watch regardless. CCCU’s riders also appeared very capable throughout. Unfortunately a few of the horses seemed distracted in CCCU’s final runs; Guinness the horse decided to continue cantering around after the course was completed, and Rocky appeared quite sluggish after a long day!
The equestrian results were only revealed after every competition was complete. The top individual scores for each tier in both dressage and jumping showed a fairly balanced achievement between the two teams. However, the overall marks saw Kent come out on top, with a score of 41-30!