Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Getting closer and closer to the start of the season and rider's at DMU are raring to go with prospects of a very exciting BUCS year ahead of them. Training harder than ever this year to hopefully secure some top team and individual placings, DMU is ready to go with the biggest number of people trying out ever!

The BUCS competitions are something completely unique in the equestrian world of competing as riders do not compete on their own horses, but on riding school owned horses and ponies at different yards across the country. This eliminates one of the most controversial things to do with horse riding and competing, and this is the cost of competitions and having to own your own horse/ pony as within BUCS you HAVE to ride something different every single time! The competitions also run in teams of 4 with each university competing in a league against 3 other universities at every BUCS match. This is a great way to get to meet people who are fellow equestrian lovers from universities across the country, whilst getting to experience riding different horses at every yard.

Competition Basics

The matches consist of a preliminary standard dressage test; basic walk, trot, canter, circles, serpentines, change of rein, halt and loops. You are marked out of 10 for each movement performed and then collective marks are given for use of aids, rein, leg, transitions, balance, impulsion, suppleness etc. You draw the horse from a hat and are assigned a number as a rider, and then a letter for the horse, so you would be Rider 12 on Horse A for example. You are given 10 minutes for the first rider, and 7 minutes for the riders thereafter to warm up your horse in whichever manner you wish before going in to do your test. This requires riders to be confident in their ability to sit on any horse and perform the dressage, as well as a unique test of their independent riding skills.

The second phase is the show jumping which is drawn in the same manner with different horses who will all be shown around the course of jumps before being ridden by the BUCS competitors. Riders who go first have 7 minutes to warm up, and riders after have 5 minutes. The warm up will consist of 2 fences put to height that must be jumped a maximum of 4 times before beginning the show jumping round. Riders are marked on each fence out of 10, then on their use of rein, leg, aids, impulsion and suppleness in collective marks. Fences can include; dog legs, stiles, spread, cross poles, related distance, doubles and triples.

Riders are scored against the other people who ride the same horse from different universities meaning the marks are given a collective negative for the difference between scores. If you perform the best on your horse then you will have no negatives and be given a mark of 0. Rosette placings for individuals range from 1st to 6th so a big chance to win is always there, with every team getting team placed rosettes also.

Competition Wear/ Etiquette 

The importance of riding at other yards is something that is unique to BUCS but also a privilege. Riders must comply with all yard rules at other stables and also any rules regarding the way fences are jumped, and whip length/ spur use on horses. At DMU Equestrian we pride ourselves on our conduct and manners at competitions and always help out at other yards wherever we can with the horses or riders to make sure everyone has a fantastic day! Riders must always salute their judge after dressage and before show jumping with a cheeky smile never going a miss from DMU Equestrian.

Competition wear is as follows; 

Our BUCS C Team at Loughborough representing
DMU Equestrian very smartly!
Riders should be very smartly dressed with either tweed, navy or black show jackets.
White shirts must be worn with a tie or stock.
Breeches/ Jodhpurs must be white, pale yellow or fawn in colour.
Plain black or brown long boots, or jodhpur boots with matching leather gaiters/ chaps NOT suede.
Gloves are compulsary for dressage but optional for show jumping.
All riders must wear hats approved PAS 015:1998 / B.S.EN 1384:1997 or ASTM F1163.
Long hair must be neatly secured for both dressage and show jumping.
It is recommended (but not necessary) for riders to wear body protectors for show jumping to a minimum of BETA 2000 safety level 3.
Whip length may be any for dressage but a maximum of 75cm for jumping.

Our brand new DMU Colours Riding
Competition Stocks and Badges!
ORDER with us now!
BUCS is an amazing experience for anyone who loves competing, loves horses and wants to try something new! We are looking forward to having some top riders join us at DMU Equestrian with tryouts just over a week away!

Keep in touch with us

Twitter @DMUEquestrian
Facebook DMU Equestrian Society

We always appreciate any feedback or questions you may have and look forward to having a great BUCS YEAR!

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