Equestrian semester one wrap-up
We started this year with a good amount of interest in assessment lessons and team trials. Team trials were fun with some different horses to ride and this year is also the first year we have decided to have a development team. The aim of our development team is so that riders who just missed out on making the teams have the opportunity to train fortnightly and in a similar way to how our teams train weekly. There will also be a friendly competition organised at some point through the year so that the development team can get a feel for how a competition would run. So far, we’ve had good feedback from development team riders about their lessons and we look forward to starting back lessons after Christmas!
On the 20th October, we organised a trip to Ascot Racecourse for British Champions Day - the last flat racing day of the season. We had an early start and arrived just before lunch time. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and there was some great quality racing. After the racing there was then an after party which we got to go to with well-known DJ Jax Jones and singer Ella Eyre. Despite arriving back in Swansea at 1am, everyone had a really fun day and it was a great event to start the year and for members to get to know each other.
The first team had their first competition of the year on the 7th November, away to Cardiff. They placed 3rd as a team with an individual 5th for Rebecca Wall. New team member Grace Gillies also competed in her first BUCS competition and did very well! The team are training hard ahead of their next competition in February.
We then held our first charity event of the year on the 16th November, a quiz night in JC’s. Our chosen charity this year is Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony - a charity that was set up by the late Hannah Francis, a young eventer who was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer. Hannah set the charity up herself to raise money to fund bone cancer research and give horsey wishes to seriously ill people and their families. We raised £50 which is already half of our target for the year!
The second team had their first competition of the year on the 21st November, away at Cardiff Met. They placed 4th as a team with an individual 3rd for Team Captain Lucy Robertson. The team had 3 new members who hadn’t competed in BUCS before and they all did extremely well to overcome nerves!
On the 5th December, the second team had their second competition for the year, away at Aberystwyth. The girls completely turned it around for this competition and placed 1st as a team! Also an individual 1st for new team member Annabel Stanley and individual 6th for Mina Thurlow who was competing in her first ever BUCS competition. We were so impressed by the team and they’re now training hard for their next competition.
On the 12th December, we held our annual Christmas gymkhana - games for members to take part in both on foot and horse! Members wore their best Christmas outfits and also dressed up the horses to be Christmassy! Games ranged from egg and spoon races to finding chocolate coins in flour! All members had a great time and it was a nice chance for everyone to get together and have some fun before the Christmas break. We also held our Christmas meal at Zinco Lounge on the 9th December. The food was amazing and it was another nice chance to get members together to end the year.
Overall we’ve had a very busy first term, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Swansea Equestrian Club.