WT Equestrian Team advancing to nationals

Alex Gonazalez

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Sports Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

Sports Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

The Equestrian Team at WTAMU this year has just returned from Pomona, Calif. where they competed in the Western Semi-Finals Championship. There, they managed to become a high point team and will advance to Nationals which will be held in Harrisburg, Pa. in May.

They also beat the University of Findlay, a school that has been undefeated in semi-finals.

“As the western captain, this semester has been absolutely amazing,” Addie Davis, senior Agriculture Media and Communications major, said.

“I am so proud of the team and have been fortunate to watch everyone succeed as both individuals and as a team.”

The team has been competing in places such as Ohio, North Carolina and most recently California. In California where they won semi-finals was a change of scenery for the equestrian team.

“It definitely wasn’t like Texas,” Louisa Bowen, the equestrian assistant coach, said. “There was the ocean, palm trees. It was beautiful.”

In equestrian, the competitions are divided into classes. In each class there are riders who are placed from first to sixth The point riders earn points, but there can only be one person in each class whose points actually count.

“Even though only the point riders points are counted toward the team the other riders are also important in how well the team does,” Anna Copple, senior Animal Science major and team rider, said.

Although equestrian may not be thought of the typical team college sport, such as basketball or football, it is still a team sport as well as an individual sport.

“When we compete a riders performance is dictated by herself,” Copple said. “However, the outcome of each ride influences the entire team.”

This is Louis Bowen’s first year as assistant coach and with already such a high bar set on her first season, she has even bigger expectations for next year.

“Hopefully we can get both the English and Western teams to go to Nationals [next year],” Bowen said.

Being part of a team is motivation for the members of the equestrian team.

“We are a very competitive team, not only to other schools but against each other too,” Davis said. “We push each other to be better competitors in the practice pen and in the show arena. When one of us succeeds, we all feel proud because it is like we all succeeded.”

April 6 will be the next competition for the team, which will be the Hunt Seat Zone Championships at the WT Horse Center.

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WT Equestrian Team advancing to nationals