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He defeated tough competition to win the All Japan University Equestrian Championship!

Shunsuke Terui

Although Waseda University is famous for great achievements by its sports clubs, its equestrian club is not well known. Many of the club’s members are beginners who have not participated in equestrian events before, so it is usually outshone by other universities’ clubs, which consist of more experienced riders. However, the club achieved a feat last December when its captain Shunsuke Terui won the 84th All Japan University Equestrian Championship (as a senior in the School of Political Science and Economics). It was the first victory by a Waseda student since the late Kunjiro Kusuyama won this equestrian event 56 years ago in 1956 (he graduated from the School of Political Science and Economics in 1957).

“It was my last chance, so I really wanted to win,” says Terui of the event. The Championship consists of dressage, a competition in which horses perform a series of movements, and show jumping, a competition in which horses jump obstacles. Since the organizer provides the horses that participants ride, the Championship is a genuine test of riders’ skills. Despite his experience participating in world equestrian championships as a member of the Japanese national team, he was not considered a major contender because he failed to perform well at this event in the previous three years. Nevertheless, he told himself he must win for the junior members of the club.

Terui represented Japan at the World University Equestrian Championship in Germany last August. He was also selected as a member of the Japanese national team for the 2010 World University Equestrian Championship in South Korea.

“I had been thinking about how I could motivate our members since I became captain. I believe my determination to encourage junior members drove me to win.”

To fulfill his mission as captain, he participated in training sessions to improve his riding skills before the Championship. His dedicated practice helped him prove that he was one of the best student riders during the last competition of his university career.

However, he is not satisfied with his achievement. He even shows bitterness, saying, “I wanted to win the team competition.” The reason behind this reaction lies in his upbringing.

His family runs a riding club, which means he is an equestrian “thoroughbred.” He decided to ride after being impressed by the great performances by the horses from his family’s riding club in an equestrian event in his second year of junior high school. During high school, he went back and forth between school and the riding club every day. He did not originally intend to join the university’s equestrian club for fear of having less time to go to the riding club, but he finally decided to join after his father advised him to explore a different world.

The equestrian club was as tough, as he expected. Club members juggle their studies with overnight shifts at the stable in Higashi-fushimi to take care of their horses. They feed the horses at 5 a.m., start riding at 7 a.m., and feed the horses again at 9 p.m. The club is primarily operated by students, so they have to create practice programs and select members for team competitions on their own. As the captain responsible for the club’s operation, the weighty responsibilities were beyond his expectations, but Terui describes his days with the club as “really happy.” This is because he gained some very important treasures: friends who can share his hardships and the horses he affectionately cared for. Because of his strong bond with his friends, he regrets not winning the team competition. This is another important experience he gained from his activities in the equestrian club.

This spring, he will leave for Germany. He plans to improve his riding skills in the home of dressage to pursue a riding career. He has lofty goals as he wants to qualify as “master”, professional rider in Germany and compete in the Olympics. We look forward to seeing him perform in the Olympics in the future!

Show jumping in the semifinals of the All Japan University Equestrian Championship he went on to win.

His horse. His deep affection for horses motivates him to keep participating in equestrian events.

(Offered By:WASEDA WEEKLY)

Shunsuke Terui
(2013 Graduate of the School of Political Science and Economics)

Originally from Tokyo, Shunsuke Terui graduated from Waseda University Honjo Senior High School. He began learning horseback riding in earnest when he was in his third year of junior high school at his family’s riding club and has been successful at many equestrian events. While at Waseda University, he served as captain of the equestrian club. He won the 84th All Japan University Equestrian Championship.