Friday 15th March saw the first ever Equestrian Varsity competition between the second teams from Cambridge and Oxford. Following the success of a light blue victory in the first team match, a tough battle was fought between the two teams. Oxford regained some of their damaged pride by claiming their first dark blue victory over the second team. The competition included two dressage tests followed by two jumping rounds. The day ran smoothly and all competitors thoroughly enjoyed the event. Captain and event organiser Alice Watson led the team, Nicola Heckeberg, Alice Simon and Fiona Macklin in this exciting contest.
Cambridge kicked off the day with a strong dressage test ridden by fresher Fiona Macklin and Nicola built on this positive start with two more well-executed tests. Oxford looked strong during this phase, however, sneaking into the lead with some neat tests. The Cambridge team closed the gap slightly at the start of the jumping phase with some stylish clear rounds ridden by fresher and pentathlete Alice Simon, but Oxford managed to hold their nerve and maintain their lead. Their final score was 68.9 to Cambridge’s 111.7 (lowest score wins), with their team including the individually placed top rider, Lizzy Hamilton.
It was a pleasure for Cambridge to host the first of these competitions, and hopefully they will become an annual part of the riding club diary. The Cambridge team would like to offer their thanks to the judge Hilary Walstropp, and the staff at Brooksby College for helping to make this event so enjoyable. Special thanks must also be given to Oxford for providing a writer and scorer, as these two generous people enabled the competition to run seamlessly. Finally, thanks to team trainer Sharon from Hilltop Equestrian Centre.
Report by Alice Watson, B Team Captain