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Published 6th Dec 2011
Eight o’clock on the very misty morning of Wednesday 23rd November saw the Equestrian club - eyes half closed and bundled in hats, scarves and gloves- meet at the GSA for the first Equestrian competition of this year. Whilst the B Team, comprising of Marisa Wisniewska, Emily Kitson, Sarah Grimshaw and Amit Grinvald, headed off to Portsmouth for their away competition, the A Team drove to Silvermere Equestrian Centre to prepare for our home competition.
After the horses’ manes and tails had been plaited, the letters in the arena had been put up and the rosettes arranged, the four other teams eventually arrived – Brighton, Royal Holloway and LSE – and the competition began. Louisa O’Callaghan and Kiera Farrelly perfected their time–keeping skills for the warm ups and, with constant updates from the B Team, we nervously watched our riders complete their dressage tests. Genevieve Kirk, Elizabeth Ward, Emily Chomicz and Penina Kahtan all rode brilliantly and the dressage results alone brought Surrey into first place.
But we didn’t stop there. After a lovely lunch prepared by the Equestrian Society President, Caitlin Kretzschmar, we went to set up the jumping course. Both riders and helpers had numb hands, chattering teeth and nerves had thoroughly kicked in. We wished them good luck and by the time it came to their round, the A Team were completely focused.
Whilst we heard that Portsmouth’s horses had been refusing fences, the horses at Silvermere were giving it their all. With only a few fences down between all of our four riders, the results looked promising. By the time the horses were damp with sweat and exhausted from completing five rounds each, apprehension rose as we waited for the remaining results.
Once again in the lead with the jumping results was the University of Surrey and as we all exchanged excited glances, we knew the news could only get better! But of course, the results didn’t come without their drama. Concerns were raised over the wearing of gloves with some competitors suggesting that points should be deducted for the absence of gloves since it is compulsory in the competitions. Luckily, Surrey wasn’t involved and since nothing could be proven, the judge and the teams agreed to let it go.
That meant that Emily Chomicz, who had been calculating the results, could finally announce that the A Team winners were the University of Surrey with Brighton in second, followed by Royal Holloway and then LSE. We then heard that the B Team had finished in fourth place but only narrowly missing out on third! Individual placings saw Emily Chomicz take first place, Penina Kahtan take second and Genevieve Kirk take sixth, a brilliant result. We were equally pleased with the B Team’s results with Sarah Grimshaw coming fourth and Emily Kitson only just missing out on placings!
A huge congratulations is in order for both teams who have been so committed to these competitions over the last few weeks. But an even bigger thanks must go to our President, Caitlin Kretzschmar, for organising a great day, and Silvermere Equestrian Centre and their horses for making it run smoothly!