Equestrian Team Ranked No. 1 at Mid-Season Mark

The University Equestrian Team is putting together one of its best seasons ever. At the midway point of the season, the Equestrian Team is at the top of the standings in its region in English team competition and in third place in western team competition.  
The Equestrian Team is made up of about 90 members of various skill levels in both English and western riding. The team practices Monday-Friday afternoon at the University Farm using some of the 35 horses owned by the University. Since equestrian is a club sport at Truman, no school scholarships are given to team members, but the Agriculture Department does cover the transportation for the team as well as the coach’s additional travel expenses. 

Corinne Jumping at K-state.jpg
Corinne Smith competes with horse Marty at the Kansas State University English show earlier this season. The Equestrian Team is currently at the top of the standings in its region in English team competition and in third place in western team competition.

The college equestrian season runs concurrent with the academic year, with a break in the winter months. Competitions are sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) which provides college students of all riding levels the ability to compete in equestrian events without having to own their own horse.

At competitions, horses are provided by the host and riders draw names to determine which horse they will ride in their class. Riders are given no warm up and judged on their equitation and ability to control an unfamiliar horse. Riders compete both individually, by placing in their class and gaining points towards their individual total, and as a team, by the points from one rider at each level counting towards the team total.

“Riding at shows can be a bit nerve racking at first, riding horses you are not familiar with,” says Equestrian Team coach and Truman alumna, Emily Costello, “But most people find it is a really good test of your adaptability as a rider, adjusting to new horses while still maintaining correct positing. Showing also helps build team spirit since members are with each other for nearly an entire weekend, helping each other get ready for their classes, eating meals together and traveling in the University vans.”  

Both the English and western teams travel to about four shows a year all over Missouri, Illinois, southern Iowa and eastern Kansas in addition to hosting a show at the University Farm in the fall. Each spring the regular showing season ends with regional competition which gives those riders who have accumulated enough points in the regular season to compete for a chance to go onto zone and possibly national competition. So far this year, the team has four English riders (with the possibility of four more) and four western riders (with the possibility of five more) qualified for regional competition. If the English team is able to maintain its lead after the last show in the spring, up to eight riders will qualify to represent the team at zone competition.

The next competition for the western team is Feb. 28 at Kansas State University while the English team will have its next show March 19-20 near Chicago at a show hosted by Augustana College and Illinois State University.

For more information on the Equestrian Team, and to follow its progress in the second half of the season, go to http://equestrian.truman.edu/.       

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