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Student rider Steph heading to world championships

Posted 1 December 2014

Steph Gunn, far right, with fellow team members in France.

Harper Adams University student Steph Gunn is set to represent the UK at the student rider World Championships. 

Steph, 21, was selected for the international student team after she represented Harper Adams at the National Equestrian Championships in the summer. 

Her first international contest was the Student Rider Nations Cup in Germany in October. She said: “After spending a successful birthday weekend in Germany, getting team dressage bronze and team Silver in the Euro Challenge, with only a small margin of difference from the very talented Germans, I was asked to compete in France. 

“After having such a good time in Germany, I felt that it was an opportunity that had to be taken! We made a good team, ending up with team dressage silver, team show-jumping gold and overall team gold, securing ourselves a place in the gold league in the world championships in Florida. 

“Individually I placed seventh overall and secured silver in dressage - just one per cent behind the gold medal position, which was a good achievement against the high standard of riders in these competitions. The dressage test for the final round was Prix St George which is a high level of competition.

“For each round you only get five minutes’ warm up to get a feel for the horse, which you have never ridden before, then you have to complete a high level dressage test or jumping course. It is a true test of horsemanship. 

“There is also an element of luck because you pick the horse that you have to ride out of a hat, so if you are lucky you get one that suits your riding style! 

“After this success I was asked to compete in Florida at an event over New Year at Palm Beach. This is an exciting opportunity, and the fact that it will be held in such a nice place is a bonus. I’m really looking forward to it and hoping for more success - I will be competing for the international team as the fourth British rider.”

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 then travelling to shows every weekend.

Now, her performances as part of the Harper Adams and British student equestrian teams are taking her further than she had anticipated – and the University will be supporting Steph's participation in the world championships and wishing her, and the British team, every success.

 

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