Writtle College’s equestrian A team have won their first competition in the British University and Colleges Sport’s annual league.
The squad beat teams from the University of Cambridge, University of East Anglia and University of Essex to come first in the initial round of the area league at Hilltop Farm in Cambridge.
The team members were Writtle College degree students Laura Clayton, Megan Page, Poppy Chapman, Emily Wakeling and coach Michael Paveley.
Mr Paveley, a second year equine science student at Writtle College, said: “This was the first in a round of four area league competitions hosted by the University of Cambridge at a park called Hilltop Farm. The team won by a large margin, so we have been given a boost at the start of this year’s campaign. Last year, the A team - including Laura Clayton - came third in the national final so we are hoping to build on this success.”
There will be a further three competitions over the next three months ahead of the regional finals in April, with the national finals held at Hartpury College in June.
The team spend two hours-a-week training, using the horses at Writtle College.
Pennie Wallace, senior lecturer in equine studies, said: "This is really good news and follows on from last year’s success when our equestrian A team came third at the BUCS national championships.
"Michael Paveley and the student teams work extremely hard training each week and this success is a credit to the College."
The BUCS programme is unique in equestrianism as all riders must compete on borrowed horses. The riders must compete in both dressage and show jumping, with the combined scores making up the final result.
Writtle College has two further teams, B and C, which will also compete in the BUCS league.