Despite being a small and non-competitive club, the University of Lincoln’s Equestrian Social club has high expectations for the upcoming year. The Linc caught up with the president of the team, Hannah Thompson.

Who are you?
We’re the Equestrian Social club, one of two equestrian societies within the university. We are the only society that caters for riders of all levels, from the nervous novice to the more advanced competitor.

We differ from the Equestrian team as we don’t compete in the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) league.  We train throughout the week at an established eventers yard in Lincoln, where we are fortunate to ride horses of truly great calibre.

Although we don’t compete in the BUCS league, we hold inter-society competitions in both dressage and showjumping and run our own league throughout the year. Last year we were fortunate to get some world class riders in to host some clinics which our members were able to benefit greatly from.

What is equestrianism?
Equestrianism is the term given to what is more commonly known as horse riding. Horses are trained and ridden in a variety of disciplines, including dressage, showjumping and eventing.

Dressage can be thought of as ballet on horse back, where horse and rider perform a series of predetermined movements and get marked on their accuracy, technicality and harmony.

Showjumping involves negotiating a course of jumps, with the aim being to go clear and within a time limit. Penalties are given for knocking fences down, the horse refusing to jump a fence and the rider falling off.

Eventing is a combination of dressage and showjumping, with the addition of a course of solid immovable fences and obstacles, such as water and steps. Again, the horse and rider must negotiate the course within the time limit and without penalties. There are many other aspects of equestrianism, but within the society these areas are the three we mainly focus on.

How old are you?
The club is now entering our fourth year and are becoming more established by the year, branching out further into the university and becoming available to more and more students.

How did last year go?
Last year, the society increased membership from 20 to 108! The biggest move was enabling all riders to be trained at the same yard, as previous years had seen the club split over three establishments, depending on ability. This enabled the club to work together more as a whole and, along with the introduction of the league, we were able to boast our most successful year to date.

What does this year hold for you?
This year we aim to get as many of our members as possible competing in the inter-society leagues, providing them with a taste for competition that otherwise would not be available. We hope to go on many more trips out and host more clinics with famous riders. We pride ourselves on the fact we try and provide exactly what our members want so, although we don’t compete in BUCS, we hope to continue to make our mark in Lincoln.

Player to watch this year
For a small and non-competitive club, we are lucky in that not only do we boast an incredible amount of talent, but we provide a system whereby even people who haven’t ridden before are able to take up a new hobby that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

It is impossible to select one person to watch out for this year, and I think I speak on behalf of the committee and coaches when I say all our members are hopefuls for the future, both this year and in years to come.

More details about the University of Lincoln Equestrian Social club, including how to join, are available on the Lincoln SU website.