As the University sporting season draws to a close, the Newcastle Equestrian Team are saddling up for the National Finals on the 25th June. Amongst the 45 riders from across the country, Newcastle’s Emily Corbett will be hoping to repeat the triumph of 2010 which saw Newcastle win the competition and Emily secure individual second place.
Whilst she modestly attributes this to ‘beginners luck’, her track record speaks for itself. The last 12 months have seen her ride in Romania, Sardinia and Galway as part of the Great Britain team- a side that she was selected for after her 2010 University success. She finished in second place in Italy and won in Ireland against 135 Irish riders. Not only does showjumping and dressage require performing at short notice on an unfamiliar horse- but often in unfamiliar attire.
“the horse I was riding was exhausted and knocked 5 out of the 8 fences down- it was not until the next day at 12pm when I was informed that I was set to ride in the 3rd round, and with no showjumping gear to hand- I found an unfortunate girl to swap clothes with, and a skinny boy’s boots. Despite looking ridiculous I managed to make it through and win”.
Whilst success has become commonplace for Emily, it isn’t all about trophies. Student sport is often important in integrating different people from all over the world and it is no different in equestrian.
“The biggest part of competing is meeting new people, the first night in Galway there was a ‘big fat gypsy wedding’ themed party so you can imagine 200 students staying in a 4 star hotel dressed as gypsy’s in Galway.”
Ahead of the BUCS Finals next week, Emily’s International pedigree is sure to give the team a lift- but Emily isn’t getting carried away and is concentrating on the task at hand.
“Each tournament is difficult, often consisting of multiple rounds each time riding against 2 other riders, with one rider progressing. This cuts it down quickly from 45 to 15 and then down to 2. Normally the person with the best partnership with their horse wins. It is all about talent, being able to get on your animal in a short space of time and get the best out of them”
Whilst next week is sure to be a tough competition, Newcastle’s hopes will surely be boosted by having Emily in the side. Let’s hope they can bring home the points to round off a great year for Team Newcastle.
published on: 18th June 2012