The programme followed by Oxford University Equestrian Club (Formerly knows as Oxford University Riding Club) is unique in equestrianism as all riders compete on borrowed horses. This removes a barrier to participation as students do not need to own a horse. In addition, the riders must compete in both dressage and show jumping with the combined scores making up the final result. Teams compete in a series of mini leagues in either the Championship or Trophy with each team hosting one fixture each per season.
The winning team from each league automatically qualifies for the regional rounds alongside the best two individuals not from the winning team. Six regional rounds are then held and each of the winning teams plus the three best individuals from each event qualifies for the finals. The Championship and Trophy finals take place over three days in June.
Teams consist of 4 members, however we will also select reserve team members. At competitions you will ride a randomly drawn horse for seven minutes before completing a dressage test. You will then ride another horse around a show jumping course and will only be allowed three practice fences before your round. You will be marked against the other people riding the same horse as you. The final scores are then worked out using a standardised penalties system, with team and individual placings being awarded on the day.
Whether you’re a complete beginner, an improver or an experienced rider who wants perfect their skills, OUEC can organise riding lessons for you.
Once you are on our mailing list and a member of OUEC (contact Madeleine Pope – firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the list), you will receive emails about weekly riding. Riders are grouped according to ability/experience and availability, and then offered time slots. We use BHS-approved riding centre, Hall Place Equestrian Centre (http://www.hall-place.com) in Tilehurst, near Reading – they offer a range of lesson options, from beginners to advanced showjumping with fully-qualified instructors and very good horses.
If you are interested in getting involved in the competitive side of riding at Oxford, then you can trial for one of the two Oxford teams. Oxford competes in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) leagues, with the 1st team competing in the Championship and the 2nd team competing in the Trophy. Additionally, each team has a Varsity competition against Cambridge every year.