University of Derby Equestrian Club

Welcome to the Equestrian club page; an all-inclusive sports club for any horse enthusiast! Whether you have been out of the saddle for some time, a beginner wanting to learn, or you own horses and know the ‘ins and outs’ of the equine world, there is a place for you here! Our social membership even caters for those of you just wanting to embrace the social aspect of university and meet likeminded people, without riding with us. With our social events, volunteering opportunities, weekly recreational lessons, and Team Derby representation within BUCS leagues, there really is something for everyone!

President’s Welcome

Hello! My name is Louise, & I’m excited to be your 2023/24 club president! I have been a member of the club and BUCS teams since starting my journey at UoD in 2021. Last year I held the role of social secretary, and I loved engaging with all of our members during this role. The club has been a massive part of my university experience, and my fellow members have become ‘family’. I cannot wait for this year & to be a part of the club’s development, working alongside my wonderful committee!

We welcome students of any ability wishing to get involved in everything equestrianism has to offer! If you’re looking to get back into riding or try a new discipline, a beginner wanting to learn, a rider wanting to compete, or just meet some new friends, the club has something for everyone to enjoy.

Please feel free to contact us by email (equine@derbyunion.co.uk), Instagram (uod.equestrian), or Facebook (University of Derby Equestrian) if you have any questions about the club and joining us!

We have an exciting year ahead of us & our returning members, committee, & I really look forward to meeting you soon!


Each year, the club offers all members the chance to compete through Interclub competitions, a Friendly University League, or as part of the Team Derby British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) teams.  

At Derby, we have two BUCS teams which compete in their respective leagues, either Championship (A Team) or Trophy (B Team). At a BUCS competition, riders must complete both a dressage test and a show jumping course on a horse that they have never ridden! Horses are drawn out of a hat and you only have 7 minutes on them before competing- very exciting! Each team has 4 riders, which are selected following team trials, held shortly after Freshers’ Fair. In order to trial and be eligible for one of our BUCS teams, you must be able to confidently and competently walk, trot, canter, and jump a course at a minimum height of 80cm. If you are successful and selected onto one of our teams, there will be regular training, fitness, and theory sessions that you will be expected to attend. Keep your eyes peeled on our socials for updates regarding team trials!

For riders that have never competed before, or prefer the thrill of competing without the pressure, you will be able to get involved with our interclub competitions, competing against other members of our club, and friendly league, competing against other universities. The friendly league is hosted in a similar format to BUCS, which enables you to familiarise yourself with the style of competition without the pressure. To get involved with interclub competitions, you must be a recreational rider within the club.

Recreational Lessons

Recreational lessons provide a fun and friendly environment for all riders to learn and develop their skills. We cater for people who have never ridden before, to those who want to continue to improve their riding whilst at university. Weekly or bi-weekly group lessons are held at Hargate Equestrian Centre. Shortly after Freshers’ Fair, we will host a Give-it-a-Go which enables you to come along and get a taster of riding with us before you pay your membership fees! The Give-it-a-Go session will enable us, alongside a qualified instructor, to organise groups based on ability and availability. Regardless of your skill level, students interested in joining the club must attend one of two Give-it-a-Go sessions. They cost £28 each for an hour group lesson and are bought weekly. 

We also host a Give-it-a-Go session at the beginning of the second semester, alongside re-freshers fair for new students!


New for this year, we are offering the opportunity to volunteer through us at the Scropton Riding for the Disabled Centre. This will give all members the opportunity to put their love for horses into a great organisation. This is a fantastic opportunity for those wanting to continue caring for horses whilst away from home and at university, as well as helping with lessons or catering, and for those wanting to learn the basics of horse care. It really is ideal for all members no matter their experience! Hours of volunteering also contribute to the Futures’ Awards!

Socials and Events

Last year, we saw some great events and socials as we experienced the first ‘normal’ year following the Covid-19 pandemic. We were unsure what the year would look like, but we definitely made the most of no restrictions!

We ran an array of events and socials, both sober and drinking, which started with our Welcome Event. We can’t wait to host this year’s welcome social and meet you all properly. For updates of this event, keep your eyes on our social media!

Club events and socials are open to all members, and we often support other sports club’s events throughout the year.  These include both horse and non-horse related events, such as club meals, bowling, themed socials, a day at the races, and so much more... I’m sure our Social Secretary, Lottie, has some great things planned!

If you're looking to try another discipline, there will also be opportunities throughout the year to do so; for example, trying horseball or polo!

How to Join?

We offer four membership types – A social membership which permits attendance at any social event, £20; A General membership, allowing you to ride as a recreational rider as well as attend events, £40; a Competition add on, £15, which must be paid if you are selected to be on a BUCS team; and a £20 social membership top up, allowing you to ride as a recreational rider if you later decide to. Whichever you select must be bought alongside your union pass of £20.

To purchase your membership…
  1. Go to the Union Website & Login.
  2. Click onto the "Get Involved" icon, then the "Sports" tab on the righthand side.
  3. Select the "Equestrian" tile which will take you to the club page.
  4. Select the "Join this Club" button.
  5. Once the correct membership has been added to your basket, select "account" tab on the right then "basket" on the left.
  6. Add the "Union Sports Pass" into your basket, select "Proceed" and enter payment details!

If you’re interested in joining, have any questions, or just want to chat, please contact us on our socials or email us at equine@derbyunion.co.uk . We are looking forward to meeting you very soon!