De Montfort University (DMU) has an excellent Equestrian team. They won varsity in 2015 and 2016 and in 2016 they were named Club of the Year too! This year, the Equestrian team from University of Leicester (UoL) withdrew just days before the competition was supposed to take place, effectively making DMU’s team the winners of this year’s Varsity without having to compete. It is unclear why exactly UoL has decided to pull out, rumours have been floating around but nothing which can actually be confirmed.

The venue (Brooksby Equestrian Centre) was already rented out and arrangements had already been made. DMU’s Equestrian team used this to their advantage and made use of what was already provided to them, holding a friendly competition among themselves in preparation for next season. This shows true sportsmanship and commitment to the sport, it certainly will not be surprising if the team will manage to secure another win in Varsity next year.

The Equestrian team competed in both Dressage and Jumping. First up was Dressage, then a brief break followed, in which the team helped to build the jumps before they moved on to Jumping. For both competitions, the girls were assigned horses which they were not familiar with.

It was clear to see especially during the Jumping competition that one horse in particular favoured speed over anything else and wasn’t very keen to obey and do what he was supposed to do. The girls riding said horse handled this as best as they possibly could and talent is certainly present in all of the competing drivers, but what was just as admirable was how close-knit and supportive the team was of each other. They help each other out, provide advice and cheered their teammates on, even though in this particular instance they were competing against each other due to UoL’s absence.

All in all, the Equestrian team have shown us today what they are made of. It was great to see them compete against each other and I would certainly encourage everyone to go and watch them compete in Varsity next year.