Second Team Match Report: RVC

            The 2nd team headed down to the match in good spirits knowing that a place a regionals was a very likely scenario however the match was being hosted by our main rivals for the year and so promised to be a close encounter from the start. Cambridge were team number 1 for the dressage with both Holly and Ollie having to go first on their respective horses. Holly managed to get a good tune out of her horse Alex, a slightly stiff ex-eventer to give the team a positive start. Ollie then went in on his stubborn friesian mount who was very hard to get off the aids, although he managed manage to coax her around the test without any errors. Kate was up next on a gray cob who also required a bit of energizing however was more accepting of the aids and she managed to get him together to perform a very acceptable test. Last up for the Cambridge team was Katy on a nice chestnut horse. She managed to get him going really well and did a fabulous test on the horse to prove that even show jumpers can do dressage. Unfortunately RVC had managed to get a very advantageous draw and were really able to make the home advantage tell by going last on Ollie’s & Holly’s horses as it meant that Alex had loosened off so was moving more freely and the rider on Ollie’s had the secret weapon of a set of spurs to help propel her around her test. This meant that they were beaten on their two with Holly picking up 6 points and Ollie getting 12. Kate also had just the unfortunate single point following the dressage having been drawn against a strong rider from the other team. Katy however had managed to give her opposite number at RVC a massive 24 points which meant that at the halfway stage Cambridge held a narrow lead over RVC with UEA already well off the pace.

 Following a delicious lunch of homemade sausage rolls and incredibly chocolatey cake the jumping got underway. Kate went first for the Cambridge team with the returning Alex and managed to go round clear to give the start desired. Unfortunately Holly’s luck with the draw didn’t improve during the afternoon and she ended up having to go second on a horse who had been eliminated in its previous round. Some determined riding meant that she managed to get it round the course clear however the problems of the previous round meant that it was just slightly hesitant. Ollie had got a cob which he managed to fire up and went clear on to win on his horse. Katy was on last for the Cambridge team having drawn a gigantic 17’2 horse. She too went clear however her style was not to the judges taste meaning that he scored her quite harshly although she scored better still than the rider from UEA. When it came to the final scores it was a very close run thing with just 1 horse deciding the final outcome. RVC managed to win however the Cambridge team can take great pride in coming 2nd, and that despite the unfavourable draw which is part of the luck side of a BUCS match they still managed to give a very strong performance either winning or picking up just a few points on their rides against a good team at home.