National Competitions, better knowns as SO’s, are competitions that are held by the VNS (Dutch Association for Studentriders). Many equine associations anually organise SO’s, as does U.S.R. Hippeia. During an SO there are dressage and jumping competitions in several classes. Hippeia often travels with a large equipe to SO’s of our sister associations to battle for prizes and enjoy a fun weekend!
A weekend away on SO
A weekend away on SO is a special experience. Most SO’s start on Saturday afternoon when the dressage qualifying rounds are ridden. Afterwards, everyone will put on their crazy outfit for the theme party, and later we go to a bar. Around midnight the results of the qualifying rounds will be announced. Then you’ll finally hear wether you may enter the semi-finals the next day. On Sunday the semi-finales and the finale of the dressage will take place. Later that day, the jumping contest starts.
The knock-outsystem that the KNHS-VNS use on national competitions is unique for the equine sport in the Netherland. In regular competitions there are always the same combinations of horse and rider that have practiced for years on end to become as good as they are. However, students of equine associations don’t have their own horse so they can’t be assessed on the best rider-horse combination. To solve this, the knock-outsystem has come to life. Through this system two or three riders ride the same horse, and the best rider is then allowed to enter the semi-finals. Because of this, the best rider is chosen, instead of the best combination of rider-horse. Riders are assigned to a horse by a lottery and there are new horses available for every round.
The vice-praeses receives invites from sister associations about their upcoming SO’s. The are then sent to members. You can sign up for an SO by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.