Introduction Archie Garbutt (3rd, S) and results by Tom O’Bryan (3rd, S).
On Saturday 11 May, College’s equestrian team competed in the Gloucestershire Schools Games Combined Training competition at Hartpury College. Our College team of Honor McFarlane (4th, W), Tavie Slatter (4th, W), Tom O’Bryan (3rd, S), Archie Garbutt (3rd, S), Joanna White (U6, Ch) and Harriet White (U6, Ch) travelled to Hartpury to take part in the annual competition for pupils aged 12 – 18, which sees almost 20 schools competing and consists of dressage and show jumping.
Hartpury College was established just after World War Two as an agricultural education centre and it has grown into a college and university with sports, equine, agricultural and animal management centres. The equestrian centre we were competing at is one of the largest of its kind in the world with state of the art equipment that our team was able to use; I was blown away by the enormity of it all with several huge outdoor and indoor arenas and incredible facilities.
First up was the dressage, held in the stunning outdoor arena where our horses were put to the test to look as elegant and graceful as possible, with the most harmony between the horse and rider, whilst completing a set of predetermined movements. Everyone completed brilliant tests with Honor, Harriet and Tom scoring over 70%, Tavie was only a fraction behind on 69.9% and so we won the team prize by over eight marks, which is some margin. Honor won individually and Harriet was not far behind in third place.
Next up was the show jumping. This is where the rider and horse canter around a memorised set of brightly coloured jumps that the horse can refuse to jump, run out of or knock down, all of which add faults to your time, therefore it is tricky to gain a clear round. Our team competed in three categories, each with increasing jump sizes. College achieved flying colours in all show jumping phases. We were fifth as a team in the 80cm (Honor, Archie, Tavie and Tom), second as a team in the 90cm (Archie, Tavie, Harriet, and Joanna). Joanna came third individually in the 1m competition too. In the combined training (where the dressage and jumping mark are added together) Honor won again!