A galloping year for veterinary student Lizzie Moore
by Lizzie Moore on 3 May 2016
A typical Friday morning
Friday morning and I’m up and out of bed by 6.30am ready to head to Newmarket. It’s a fresh but sunny morning and luckily the traffic isn’t too bad. I arrive at the yard and check the board to see which horse I’m riding today; it’s one of the two-year-old fillies. A new ride for me! I collect my tack and head to her stable where I find a sleepy looking horse. Once tacked up the shout comes to jump on and after a walk around the yard it’s time to head to the heath. We trot round the “severals” twice before crossing the road and heading to the gallops. First time round we head up the hill at a steady (25mph) pace. Next time round we are moving to one of the grass canters, this time I am leading another horse and the pace is definitely faster! As I’m travelling up the hill I manage to catch a couple of glances up ahead taking in my surroundings. It’s moments like this which help to forget any stress related to studying. Once at the top of the hill we ease up and walk home whilst giving our feedback to the trainer about how our horses have gone. The horses get washed off and a have a quick bite of grass before being tucked up in their rugs with their breakfast! Once I’ve got myself sorted I head back to Cambridge and quickly change before heading off to lectures!
Remembering the Varsity Horse Race
I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to keep riding out since participating in the Varsity Horse Race last year. When I think back to the race, part of me can’t believe it happened. I had been training for over eight months; riding out, gym sessions with my team mates and sessions on the equicisers at the British Racing School. I remember the morning of the race waking up in a sort of daze. My bag was already packed with all my equipment and I headed to Aldi where we were meeting up to get a taxi to Newmarket. I was greeted by 5 other nervous faces and the taxi was noticeably quiet on the journey there. We arrived at the racecourse at about 10am and were met by the lovely racecourse team. We were shown to the weighing in room and changing room. It was great to see behind the scenes; where the professional jockeys prepare for their races! It was time to walk the course with our coach and discuss tactics to ensure a victory against Oxford! The Rowley Mile course has a dip at about 2f and we were going to use this as our advantage to gain speed before the final sprint!
I remember my family arriving in the weighing in room to see me all dressed up in my silks, I think this is when what I was about to do really set in. As 1.30pm approached we weighed in, entered the parade ring and met our trainers. I was lucky enough to ride a horse which belonged to trainer and Newmarket mayor John Berry. Platinum Proof a.k.a “Tommy” was quite excited as I mounted and we started off at a steady canter to the start, I remember looking up at one of the big screens and seeing myself! We circled at the start for what felt like a good 30 mins although it was shorter in reality. We bunched up and set off as the flag dropped. The race went so quickly as we travelled at about 35-40mph, I remember the sound of thundering hooves and seeing the grandstand approaching. After crossing the finish line I felt shattered but exhilarated. All the training had been worth it and I was so proud to represent Cambridge and Lucy Cavendish College.
I’m continuing to ride out at least once a week at William Jarvis’ yard which is a great opportunity for a study break whilst getting some exercise in too! Before coming to Cambridge I’m not sure if I would have had the confidence to take on such a challenge but with everyone’s support I’ve been able to complete this adventure!