CAMBRIDGE (03/12/14)

Cambridge University Equestrian Team

Second Team — BUCS Match hosted by Cambridge, Hilltop Equestrian Centre, 3rd December 2014

CUET 2nd Team (L-R Ollie Coombe-Tennant (C), Holly Mason, Lucy Hart, Mary Tivey)


The Cambridge University Second Equestrian Team held their own home match on 3rd December 2014 with the kind permission of Sharon Newbold at Hilltop EC, Yelling. Following on from their win the previous week at the match hosted by Writtle College, CUET 2nds were the team to beat in the league, consisting of Writtle College 2nds, University of East Anglia 2nds and Royal Veterinary College 3rds. The match was held outside of Full Term but luckily the Cambridge team of Captain Ollie Coombe-Tennant (Selwyn), Holly Mason (St Johns), Mary Tivey (Girton) and Lucy Hart (Clare) had not fled for home just yet!

Each team member draws a random horse to ride for the dressage, and another for the jumping, with one rider from each team on each horse. Captain Ollie drew Holly for the dressage and managed to coax an unusually forward test from Holly’s normally reluctant paces, to gain the best dressage score of the day on her. Lucy piloted a very tense King to a fantastically steady and calm test, showing a lot of skill, gaining her top place aboard him. Holly produced a very relaxed and flowing test on a rather tense Harvey, and managed to also be the best score on him, and Mary had to use all her strength to contain the very forward and heavy Fern, but narrowly missed out on being top score, ending on just 5 penalties.

Overall at the end of the dressage phase, Cambridge 2nds were in the enviable position of having three members of the team on zero penalties; Ollie, Lucy and Holly, with an overall team penalty score of only 5. The closest to them at this stage were RVC on 39, so Cambridge had a strong lead heading into the jumping.

The showjumping horses at Hilltop are all very experienced and so Captain Ollie was able to design a challenging course which aimed to challenge the riders’ skills in the smaller arenas, and was as such the most difficult course that the 2nds have had to compete over so far in their matches. Lucy drew Lala, who had previously been used as a dressage pony at Hilltop but has a surprisingly big jump, and quite literally ‘pinged’ around the course under the expert guidance of Lucy, gaining the best score. Mary was the envy of everyone as she drew Trev, the yard favourite, and produced a fantastic bouncy round on him. Holly drew Astra and controlled her very well, as Astra is notoriously difficult to jump due to her sheer speed and the strength needed to slow her down, but Holly managed superbly and added just 12 penalties to her zero dressage score. Ollie was up last, but luckily Nell had retained quite a lot of energy and Ollie’s skilful style gained him the best score of the day for his jumping round – or perhaps the judge enjoyed seeing a male rider in the throngs of the girls!

Both Ollie and Lucy managed to maintain a zero penalty score, which meant that the individual placings were decided on the ‘collective’ marks; the marks the judge gives each rider for their riding ability, position and effectiveness. As such, this led to Ollie being victorious, with Lucy in 2nd place. Mary finished 3rd on just 5 penalties and Holly was placed 6th on just 12 penalties, meaning that all 4 riders finished in the top 6 – an amazing result! This very strong performance meant that the team continued their winning streak from the previous match, as they took victory in this competition by miles. These successes have put the CUET 2nds in a fantastic leading position going into the second half of their season.

Victorious CUET 2nd Team (L-R Ollie Coombe-Tennant (Captain), Holly Mason, Lucy Hart, Mary Tivey)