Posted 1 October 2014
Steph Gunn, from Harper Adams University, is set to represent Great Britain at the Student Rider Nations Cup (SRNC) in Germany next week.
She will be part of a team of three UK students taking on a further 14 teams from across Europe in the AIEC (World University Equestrian Federation) event, completing a series of show-jumping and dressage tests on horses provided by the host nation.
Steph, 21, explained: “In student riding, we compete to see who performs best on the same horse, so it is a test of our riding ability alone, not of the horse.
“I am a member of the Harper Adams University team and through it qualified for the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) National Equestrian Championships. From my performance there, I was selected to represent Great Britain at the Europe-wide competition.
“I am delighted to have been chosen and look forward to travelling to Germany – and I’m grateful that my lecturers have enabled me to go!”
Steph is no stranger to equestrian competitions. Her parents run a riding school so she can’t remember a time when she didn’t ride. Having racked up wins as a junior rider - at the Horse of the Year Show in 2008 and competing for England on ponies – she kept going throughout the first year of her Veterinary Physiotherapy degree, returning home to Orston, Nottinghamshire and travelling to shows every weekend.
It was her life-long experience of show-jumping that brought Steph to Harper Adams. “I have always wanted to be an animal physiotherapist,” she said.
“Physios regularly visit our show-jumping horses and I thought the worked looked really interesting. In the past you had to study human physiotherapy and then convert to veterinary physiotherapy by completed a postgraduate course, so it was perfect when the Harper Adams undergraduate course started. I am really enjoying it and looking forward to my future career.”
But for now, Steph has to focus on October 9, when she will travel to Wallenhorst for the Student Rider Nations Cup competition.