Cambridge University Equestrian Team
Second Team – BUCS Match hosted by Writtle College, Chelmsford, 4th November 2015
The first match of the season for the CUET Seconds was hosted by Writtle College in Essex and the competition was held in the league consisting of CUET 2nds, University of East Anglia 2nds, Writtle College 2nds and University of Essex 2nds. The team that travelled to Writtle involved Alice Strang Steel (Emmanuel), Helena Gostelow (Queens), Emily Hopgood (Emmanuel) and Kate Branley (Newnham). Kate, Emily and Helena were all making their debut as part of CUET.
The competitors first draw 2 random horses, one for a dressage test and one for the showjumping in the afternoon, with one member of each team riding each horse, with a very short warm up each. Emily was drawn first to go on her horse and despite him being a little fresh in the warm up she managed to settle him to produce a relaxed, consistent test. Alice was next to go on a small grey mare who was very challenging. Alice managed to get the mare to relax to produce a lovely and soft test to gain the best mark on this horse. Helena was unlucky in the draw to get a very tense coloured cob who looked less than impressed at the prospect of dressage, however she rode an accurate and obedient test to gain a great mark. Kate was last to go on her horse, who was slightly tired by this point, but nevertheless rode a good test to achieve the best mark on this horse. At the end of the dressage the team held a strong position with Kate and Alice both on zero penalties.
The showjumping horses at Writtle were much more challenging than the dressage horses, giving the home side, Writtle, a strong home advantage in the afternoon phase. Despite this the Cambridge girls all held their own. First to go was Kate on a grey pony who was less than willing to go forward but managed to jump round clear. Being drawn first seemed to be an advantage on this horse as she secured the best score on him. Emily was next to go on a stronger horse who was a bit difficult in the warm up but she rode incredibly positively to fly round the course clear. Alice was unlucky to draw a very feisty mare who was very difficult to keep slow and hold to the fences. Alice rode expertly to get round clear. Helena was last to go on a very big grey horse. She jumped a lovely round managing to keep him together to also go clear.
The team finished 2nd to home team Writtle, which was a great result against 3 strong teams, with individual placings of Kate finishing 2nd, Alice finishing 5th and Emily finishing 8th. A strong start to the BUCS campaign for this year, and the team look forward to their home match later this term.