Frequently Asked Questions
Answered on this page:
Do I need my own horse to join the club?
Absolutely not! The club is designed so anyone can join, and our lessons and competitions all use school horses. BUCS rules do not allow riders to use their own horses anyway.
However, if you are interested in bringing your own horse to Sheffield, check out our Yards & Livery page for advice on local yards.
How do I join?
The easiest and best way to join the club is to come and see us in Intro Week at the Sports Fair and sign up!
You can also join online via the Sport Sheffield website:
1. Log in to your MUSE account.
2. In a new tab, open the Sport Sheffield website (click HERE).
3. Click on 'Club Sports' below the memberships heading.
4. Scroll until you reach 'Equestrian Club'.
5. Click equestrian and select the appropriate membership.
6. You will then be to a payment and confirmation page.
What membership do I need?
We have three membership options: Competition, Leisure and Beginner. If you want to be in a team (see our BUCS Teams & Development Squad page for more information), please note that trials are the only opportunity to join a team. If you don't want to trial for a team and just want to join the club for lessons etc (see our Leisure, Beginner & Polo page for more information), then select Leisure membership. Please note this membership is only for those who are already competent riders (can walk, trot and canter unaided). If you have never ridden before and would like to learn, please select Beginner membership.
I missed trials, can I join a team?
Unfortunately, for fairness reasons, we can only select team members from those who have trialled. Don't worry though, most of our members join as Leisure members and benefit from lessons and many other opportunities in the club!
What equipment do I need?
Competition members: Competitive members require full show kit (white/cream jods, show shirt and jacket, brown or black long boots or short boots and chaps, gloves), as well as an approved riding hat (see next FAQ for required hat standard). A back protector is useful if you have one as some yards require we use them, however they are not vital - if you do not own one we have a selection of club body protectors kindly provided by Champion Equestrian for our members to use for free. The club also provide club stocks for members' use. Don't panic if you don't have competition wear and/or are worried about the cost. There are no competitions until well after trials, and if you make the team the University has funding available to help fund sporting equipment for those who may struggle to fund this themselves. You can see more information about the University participation grant on their website.
Leisure members: Leisure members require standard riding wear (approved hat, boots, jods etc). All the yards we use provide hats and boots for hire, however if you have your own please do bring them. None of our yards provide body protectors but these are not required. If you would like to purchase a hat or body protector, the club will be placing orders at trade price with Champion Equestrian throughout the year.
Polo: All equipment for polo is provided other than riding hats/body protectors. You do not need a polo helmet, just a normal riding hat which must meet the current safety standards (standard PAS015:1998 or PAS015:2011 with CE mark, SNELL E2001, VG1 01.040 2014-12, or UTAC/CRITT 04/2015 and any newer version of the same standard, including EN1384:2017).
Beginner members: Riding wear and equipment is often expensive so don't panic about buying kit straight away, have a good few lessons first! All the yards we use provide protective riding hats and boots for you to hire. In terms of clothing, wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing, as you would for any sport. You MUST wear full length trousers, although we would not recommend jeans as these can chafe! Full length gym leggings or tracksuit bottoms are ideal. If you would like to purchase your own hat or body protector, the club will be placing orders at trade price with Champion Equestrian throughout the year, which we recommend as all their hats are fully up to standard. Be VERY careful when purchasing your own hat- many sports stores such as Decathlon stock them, but these do not always meet the correct safety standards. Check the next FAQ for details on hat safety standards, and if you are unsure, ask any of our current members or contact us for help!
What standard do my hat and body protector have to be?
For BUCS, all riders must wear hats approved to EN1384 1996 / BSEN 1384 1997 with CE mark, PAS015: 1998/ PAS015: 2011 with BSI mark, ASTM F1163: 2004a with SEI mark, Snell E2001 or AS/NZS 3838: 2006 with SAI global mark. Long hair should be neatly secured for both dressage and show jumping. You can read more about the required standards on the BUCS website.
Body protectors must be at least BETA Level 3, but if yours is not don't worry - these can be borrowed from the club.
More safety info on helmets can be found on the British Equestrian Trade Association website.
More safety info on body protectors can be found on the British Equestrian Trade Association website.
How good do I need to be to join a team?
BUCS and Development competitions involve a prelim - novice level dressage test and a round of 80cm - 90cm show jumping, so this is the minimum requirement for team members. However, BUCS competitions rapidly progress if you qualify for regionals and nationals. Competition experience is useful but certainly not required as University competitions run using an entirely different format to any other equestrian competition. More information is on our BUCS Teams & Development Squad pages. Please note, however, that trials are very competitive, as we always have many more people trying out for teams than we have team spaces, so getting on a team is difficult! Most of the club is made up of Leisure members so check out our Leisure member page for more information.
How much does it cost to join?
Beginner or Leisure membership is £30. Please note you will also have to pay for lessons on top of this membership fee.
Competitive membership for those selected for BUCS or Development Teams is £200 for the full year. This includes insurance, competition fees, training fees and weekly fitness sessions. We appreciate this seems like a lot, but this is a single payment and you won't need to pay anything further throughout the year. This differs from previous years where riders paid for membership but also had to pay for training and competition fees on top of this throughout the year. Overall, the £200 upfront membership is better value for members and encourages dedication to training and fitness! As well as this, the membership is paid at the start of the year soon after the first student finance loan payments, so students are generally in a good financial position, so this works out better than having members worrying about covering training and competition costs later in the year. You will pay for competitive membership after trials and if you are selected for a team. If you have any questions or worries about funding please contact us for more information or check out the University of Sheffield Participation Grant.
How do we get to and from lessons/training/competitions?
Although some of our yards are within reach of public transport, as a club, we do heavily rely on member's cars to transport people to and from training, lessons and competitions. If you are considering bringing your car to Sheffield, as a club we'd really encourage you to do this as it helps us out massively, and its a real shame when we have to cancel training or even competitions through lack of drivers. You will of course be reimbursed for petrol, and driving will be shared equally between drivers in the club.
Do I need to trial?
You only need to trial if you wish to join a BUCS Team or Development. Trials are not required for Leisure or Beginner members. More info about trialling can be found on our BUCS page.
I want to bring my own horse to Sheffield, can you recommend any livery yards?
We know of a few yards that may be suitable; please see our Yards & Livery page. However, please bear in mind that whilst we can give recommendations, it is up to you to view the yard and decide if it would suit you and your horse.
Can I ride my own horse in university competitions?
This is not permitted under BUCS rules. For more information, check out the BUCS Teams page or the BUCS Equestrian rule book.
Is there any financial support available for students wanting to join?
The University offers a Participation Grant to help students take up sport whilst studying in Sheffield. The deadline for applications is 12th October 2021. Please find the details on the University website.
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