Report written by Alice Watson
UEA hosted an eventful match at Easton College on Friday 17thJanuary. On arrival we were very impressed with the venue, and were excited for a great competition. However, arrival was where things started to go wrong. Cambridge and UEA were put into the ‘unusual’ position of supporting FULL teams of 4. As Friday is an unusual day for a BUCS competition, Writtle had failed to get 4 riders together and had decided not compete, whilst Essex only managed to scrape together a team of 3. Yet all was still to play for, as UEA knew the horses and used their home advantage well.
Following a lengthy draw the dressage horses were brought out for inspection. Ginny had all the luck (again) drawing the floaty dressage horse of her dreams. Steph drew the short straw ending up on a very cute but rather backwards pony. Excitement kicked off when a poor Essex rider got ‘decked’ by Alice’s draw, a rather fresh bay. The next rider refused to ride and the horse was withdrawn from the competition. This left 3 riders without a mount, and we were not keen to run the dressage test. Thankfully a sensible solution was found and the riders were distributed across the other horses. Sadly Alice pulled out Steph’s indifferent mount and rode the exhausted pony last, certainly making up for the running training she was missing. Clark avoided drama and transformed his lovely jumping seat (elbows) to a cracking dressage style.
Lunch brought yet more excitement with the building of the jumping course. Thankfully Clark took the helm and transformed the course into something respectable, although still too confusing for those test driving the horses! Clark and lucky Ginny had great horses and aced their rounds. Steph decided she was too good and needed something interesting, so decided to ride without a bit. We can all now confirm that bits are pretty essential for steering and general control, but least her mount was forward.
Cambridge absolutely dominated the competition, with great individual placings: Clark 1st, Ginny 3rd, Alice 4th and Steph 5th.
Massive thanks to UEA for a great competition and to Ginny’s parents for their support and photography!