This year saw a resounding victory for Cambridge in the annual Varsity Match, making us the winners of 8 out of the last 9 meetings.
The competition consists of two dressage tests and two show jumping rounds in which each team member rides a different, and previously unseen horse, drawn at random. Similar to the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) league, each rider has a maximum of 7 minutes to warm up for dressage and no more than 4 practice fences before the jumping phase. A very different format to typical competitions, it is designed to test a rider’s ability quickly to get the best out of any horse.
This year the competition was held on Thursday 8th March at Rycroft Equestrian Centre, and the squad was made up of Charlie Flammiger, Kate Walters, Oli Lawrence, Clark Glasgow and Georgie Frank.
After a very competitive dressage phase Oxford were unfortunately leading by almost 20 points. However, our show jumping performance throughout the season left the team optimistic about their chances. In the jumping phase everyone pulled out flawless rounds to overtake Oxford and secure the victory for Cambridge. Despite Oxford’s home advantage, the final score stood at 168 to 183 points. An unbeatable show jumping performance by Clark Glasgow was duly rewarded with second place individually and Oli Lawrence finished very strongly behind him in third.
The Varsity Match was undoubtedly the highlight of the year for the Riding Team. The final result was:
Cambridge (win) – 168 penalties
Oxford – 183 penalties