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Lancaster get the best of the points in the Riding

The very first event of Roses 2011 went Lancaster's way, with them taking four points in the Riding to York's two. (Thumbnail credit Image: Courtesy of York Riding Club)

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Images: Courtesy of University of York Riding Club

For the University of York Riding Club, Roses started earlier than usual, being one of the first events of the long weekend. On Thursday 12th May at 10am, two teams from Lancaster and York went head to head, hoping to gain the first points of the Roses competition.

In university equestrian competitions there are two rounds: first, the dressage and then the show jumping. First, riders are assigned horses randomly by pulling a letter out of a hat. Each letter corresponds to a horse in the riding school. During the dressage round Riders are judged on how well they complete a set test of basic and complex lateral movements. The dressage round saw York's B Team rise to the challenge and score the fewest penalty points, putting them in first place. Lancaster A Team then came in 2nd, York A Team 3rd and Lancaster B Team 4th.

The show jumping round consisted of various jumps, placed at certain angles and combinations to test a rider's control and balance. At this level of horse riding, the jumps average at 80cm- 100cm high- a sport definitely not for the faint-hearted. The round started dramatically, with a member of staff falling during the warm-up. With the decision made that the horse would be unable to compete, there was a substitution of horses and a redraw.

Although the issue was solved, the earlier fall started a trend for the afternoon. Sadly, Sarah Richardson of York A was eliminated after a refusal followed by an error on the course and both Hana Brown of York B and Kate Ward of York A had refusals at the third jump. Nevertheless, the teams battled through and the final standings were the following: York B 1st, Lancaster A 2nd, Lancaster B 3rd and York A 4th.

Even though this meant the valuable 4 points went to Lancaster, York still managed to get 2 points, thanks to York B's impressive performance. Catrin Jones of York A commented by saying "The Lancaster Team were strong competition this year, but we are especially proud of our B Team" and also that the "atmosphere was really friendly" during the day. Unsurprisingly, the highest scoring rider came from York's B Team, Trene Kinrade with 0 penalty points. All 16 riders enjoyed the competition immensely and set the trend for a very exciting and dramatic Roses weekend.

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