Horse Show Team Saddles Up For Post-Season Championships

Horse Show Team Saddles Up For Post-Season Championships
The Cal Poly Pomona Horse Show Team will compete in the Hunt Seat and Western post-season championships.

Cal Poly Pomona's Horse Show Team is riding its regional victories all the way to New York and Idaho to further its stance in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competitions.

The Hunt Seat riders will compete in the Zone 8 Championships at the College of Southern Idaho on April 12, while the Western riders will head to the semifinals in Cazenovia, New York on March 30.

“This is an amazing achievement for our team and school,” says Jing Li, the team's historian. “I do not believe any other sports team on campus beat out schools like UCLA and USC.”

Depending on how the team places in these events, chances are that it just might get to saddle up for the national competition in May.

“I think we have a pretty good chance at nationals,” says Carolyn LaPrade, Hunt Seat captain. “Last year, Hunt Seat got second place at zones and we almost made it to nationals. This year's victories have been amazing so far. The team has grown significantly since I first started and we work very hard.”

The Cal Poly Pomona Horse Show Team is a member of IHSA's Zone 8, Region 2, and rides out of the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center.

The team attracts students from a variety of disciplines and requires a year-round commitment to care for nearly 20 horses. Any student can join, and owning a horse or having experience is not required. The team is a club funded by ASI and fundraisers.

“Some schools will pay hundreds of dollars for lessons, trainers and other things for equestrian clubs,” LaPrade says. “Our club is all self-taught and we do all of the work and horse care ourselves, which not only lowers the costs and increases membership, but it also makes our accomplishments even more rewarding.”

The team will participate with other Southern California schools in hosting, and hopefully competing in, the IHSA Nationals in May at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.

IHSA has more than 350 colleges and more than 7,500 riders, making it the world's largest intercollegiate equestrian organization. The Cal Poly Pomona team competes in shows throughout the region. Riders may choose to participate in Hunt Seat or Western equitation ranging from beginning walk/trot and walk/jog classes to open over fences and reining classes.

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