Equestrian off to a flyer

Katie Aspinall talks us through Equestrian close-run draw with a much improved Northumbria team

Katie Aspinall
28th February 2017
Jumping for glory! Several clear rounds for Newcastle. Image: Phil Haswell on Flickr

In this year’s Stan Calvert both of Newcastle’s riding teams (A and B) were allowed to compete in contrast with last year’s event.

The competition took place over two days, with the first day being hosted by Northumbria. Tuesday morning felt like déjà vu, as a couple of our team members had fallen ill, a fate that befell us last year.

The first day was dressage, where both the rider and horse must perform from memory a predetermined routine (effectively making horses dance and go in circles).

First up was the A team, but luck was not on their side, as riders were faced with rather challenging horses. Everyone rode well, and performed to the best of their ability, although it wasn’t quite enough as Northumbria took victory.

However, this did not mean all was lost, as the B team were yet to perform, and they pulled out all the stops. All of them produced lovely tests- and even a major footwear malfunction couldn’t bring Newcastle down.

“Pulling off a beautiful round on what can only be described as a double-decker of a horse”

Such a high standard resulted in Newcastle taking the win, and bringing the score level. This meant it was all to play for in the next day of competition, which brought a new discipline: show jumping.

In show jumping, competitors must navigate an obstacle filled course, with points being awarded for clear round (horses jumping coloured poles). This event was hosted by Newcastle, and so Newcastle riders had the upper hand as they were more familiar with the horses competing.

Katherine Lindsay and Alida Tysterman were up first, and both jumped brilliant rounds; Alida on one of the more difficult, but brilliant horses on the yard. Jess Murray, Katie Aspinall and Holly Carter were up next, and all rode well.

Katie and Holly both rode a horse that was off- colour, but both rode to the best of their ability, and made do with the difficult situation. However, they were up against stiff competition as Northumbria executed several near-perfect rounds.

“It was a fantastic couple of days of competition”

Lucy Hogg was definitely rider of the day, pulling off a beautiful round on what can only be described as a double decker bus of a horse. An unusual description for an animal, but rather apt, since although of a lovely temperament he is rather large, which makes him difficult to navigate around such a small arena. Ella Fraser and Emily Crossley both then performed well, producing perfect rounds.

After everyone had competed, all that was left for Newcastle to do was wait- a nail-biting experience, to see who would be awarded those much-needed Stan Calvert points. Opposite to the day before, Newcastle A came away with the win, whilst the B team narrowly lost out to Northumbria. This meant that, overall, it was a draw, and both universities took home points.

It was a fantastic couple of days of competition, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event. Although it wasn’t the result Newcastle were hoping for we are excited to come back next year and work even harder to take home the victory.

MVP: Laura Hogg

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