On a cold and dark British Friday, 16 riders from Uni and Hallam descended on Parkland Equestrian Centre in the outskirts of Sheffield for another Varsity point.
Equestrian was split into two different events. The first being dressage in the morning followed by show jumping in the afternoon. For each event, there were two teams from each University containing four riders each. The dressage had four horses; George, Bronco, Fergal and Gilly, with each team riding each horse. However the show jump had four different horses, River, Kitt, Expresso, Rizz. Sounds simple, but each discipline had its own difficulties.
First up was the dressage. In its basic form, dressage is an event to show the ability to control, present and use the various techniques of the horse in order to show the riders ability to connect with their partner. The riders were judged and scored at the end of each run. Most riders had little difficulty and each horse typically responded to what their riders wanted them to do. There was a little error from Hallam’s Jess Burgh when she made a circuit error and had to reattempt it. Overall each University worked well with their horse making it difficult to judge which team came on top. However, Sheffield A and B teams outshined Hallam with higher dress scores during the dressage with Sheffield’s Layla Felgate getting the highest score with 227.5 giving Sheffield a slight advantage heading into the next discipline.
The next, and final, event of the day was the ever popular show jump. This involved the skill of managing the horse’s strides and the timing to get the jumps perfect. The riders were judged on their style and performance rather than the typical time scoring system. Both sides got off to a flying start with a few faults on either side. However, Sheffield reigned it in and trotted to victory with both Sheffield A and B team beating Hallam’s teams with the results. The University of Sheffield Equestrian team stated that they were happy with the result after the hard work they have put in over the year and were going to celebrate after winning the equestrian for the second year in a row.
Overall the whole equestrian event favoured Sheffield deeply. However, all teams worked well and showed their ability throughout the varsity event. But, Sheffield were the winners again, and showed Hallam how to truly ride adding an extra point to the overall Varsity score making Sheffield continue to hold the lead with 4 points to 2.5.