Equestrian: the Red Rose fails to secure the red rosette

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This year has been successful for the Equestrian Club with our development team getting to regionals and team captain David Lovell reaching Nationals, yet Roses is arguably the biggest of the year. Since October, momentum has been building and the team have been training extremely hard in order to achieve the 6 points available. With York having the home advantage it was sure to be a tough competition but Lancaster were willing to fight.

The competition itself consists of each rider completing a dressage test followed by a show jumping course where the aim is to get as little penalties as possible. Marks are given for aspects such as style, accuracy and mobility and are collated between the two rounds. Although this is similar to most Equestrian competitions, University Equestrian differs due to the horses. Each competitor randomly draws a horse and then only has either 7 or 10 minutes to warm up and practise before completing their test or round.

Starting one early Thursday morning, Lancaster and York University students prepared themselves for a long day ahead which was sure to be fun but also filled with tension and most importantly drama. The weather at Snainton Riding Centre may have been poor but the spirits of all competitors were high. With the preparations being complete and the horse being picked, it was time for the Dressage.

Jess, who represented Lancaster A, was the first competitor to go and performed one of her best tests this year, with all the other competitors patiently waiting for their turn. From then on, both Lancaster A and Lancaster B performed great dressage tests although York were also putting in a fight. Results were not announced after the dressage which left a sense of mystery in the air going into the show jumping.

Once the arena had been adjusted to occupy the show jumping course, it was time for lunch and, more importantly, the next draw. With the tension building, the first group warmed up and the final stage got underway. Many members performed amazingly clear rounds but unfortunately there were some poles which fell. However, the confidence overall from both teams was high.

After clearing away the jumps and putting the horses to bed for a well-deserved break, it was time for the results. Although both Lancaster teams tried as hard as they could, unfortunately York were too good for us. Lancaster B came away with team third with Lancaster A achieving team fourth. Individual placings were achieved by two members with Frances Wilde getting third and Alex Herring getting fifth. The overall team results were 41 to York A, 64.5 to York B, 65.5 to Lancaster B and 78.5 to Lancaster A. Although it was not the result that the team wanted, all members tried their hardest and for that, nothing more could have been asked.

Huge congratulations to all those that competed and displayed some amazing horse riding skills, especially York who gave Lancaster stiff competition. As the last event of the year, Roses was a very sad goodbye to those who competed but what a great three years it has been for them. Although they will be missed, the team are already looking on to Roses 2018 were the club will be aiming to prove that roses are red!

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