For the past year I have been competing for the University Equestrian Club in the British University and Colleges Sports (BUCS) competitions. I can honestly say I have had so much fun competing and I have made the best friends out of it too.
To give you a rough idea of how it works – in each league there are four teams from different Universities made up of four riders each (making sixteen riders in each competition). Each University hosts a competition meaning we have four league competitions in total over the academic year. In my league we compete against Brighton, Southampton and Kent, meaning there’s been quite a bit of travelling over the year!
Each competition is made up of two phases, a dressage phase (everyone saw the horses dancing in the Olympics right?!) and a showjumping phase. The unique thing about BUCS Equestrian is you don’t have to have your own horse to take part, in fact, it’s against the rules to compete on your own horse! At each competition the home team selects eight horses, four each for dressage and jumping, and each rider picks out of a hat to select their horses. As we have never ridden the horses before, it’s a test of the rider’s ability and you get marked on your style and technique.
My team and I have done really well over the season, with a team 1st, 2nd and two 3rd’s as well as several individual placing’s. We finished our league 2nd overall, which is better than we ever imagined doing!
All I can say about BUCS, Equestrian or other, is that is the best fun I have had whilst being at Uni, as is being part of a Sports Club or Society in general. Anyone in their first or second year who considered signing up for something at Freshers Fayre but never got round to it, I would 100% encourage you to do so next year! It’s so good to meet people with similar interests to you, and just to have another group of people to socialise with. I love having an escape from my Uni work and being able to go and spend an afternoon with my team girls and some ponies! (Yes I was the crazy horse girl in school incase you were wondering.)
For anyone interested in finding out more about the Equestrian Club,
find us on: Facebook at ‘UPSU Equestrian Club,’
follow us on Twitter: @UoP_Equestrian
visit our blog: http://uniofportsmouthequestrianclub.weebly.com
Our first competition at home on November 5th where we came 2nd and Izziey came 1st individually
Our second competition at Kent, 3rd as a team and 3rd individually for me!
Our third competition down the road at Southampton, which we won! I also came 2nd as an individual which was an added bonus!
Our last competition at Brighton on March 4th 2015, 3rd as a team, 5th for Izziey and 7th for me!