The Riding Club kicked off their competitive season on Wednesday 19 November with both the A and B teams heading around Scotland to challenge league matches. An early morning start saw a bleary-eyed B team leave The Bubble at 6.30am to travel to Busby Stables in Glasgow, where they competed against teams from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian. The team, made up of Britt Kriegstein, Pip Halpin, Sibilla Grenon and Gareth Watt, all rode well to secure a team win and individual places for three of the four members.
The A team embarked upon an adventure across the Tay to take on Dundee at their home competition at the newly re-opened Howe Country Centre. Still riding on the crest of an unprecedentedly successful 2013- 2014 season which saw them head south to contest the national championships, the team of Kirsty Winkle, Haley Myers, Catriona McKimmie and Antoine Porte placed confidence in the dynamic training programme which they have undertaken this year, including external clinics with national course designer Mark McGowan. The benefits of this were clearly demonstrated with Kirsty scoring a perfect zero in the dressage phase and Antoine, who competed for his native chile in the Youth Olympic Games over summer, riding a faultless round in the show jumping phase. Catriona added no faults to her style score by pulling a clear round out of the bag on a tricky pony and Haley was complemented by the judge on her stylish position and effective manner of riding.
The nature of the competition meant that luck played a large part in the selection of horses and a few unlucky draws ultimately pushed the team to a third place finish. With three more competitions to come, including the influential home fixture, both the A and B team are happy to have started the season well and have their sights firmly fixed on targeting this year’s nationals as a double threat.