Equestrian club places in top four at competitions, prepares for future

Eylie Buehler, Staff Writer

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The Allegheny equestrian team has participated in five competitions so far this season and remained in third or fourth place at each show. Two more shows remain in their fall season.

The team plans to repeat their accomplishment of receiving Reserve Champion High Point Team for the region from last year, with hopes of surpassing that goal.

President of the Allegheny equestrian club, Olivia Newman, ’15, said the goals of the team remain very similar to the goals set last year.

“My goal for the team is to aim for a repeat of last year,” Newman said. “The team is growing in numbers and our strength is too. I like what I see with our dedication to the team and that make this goal very doable.”

Team captain, Tianli Kilpatrick, ’15, has similar goals for the team. Kilpatrick said last year the team placed second in the region among 12 other teams and with the way the women have been competing and practicing a repeat is very obtainable.

While there may be similar goals in last year’s season and this year’s season, there remains a huge difference in competing this year.

According to Kilpatrick, each team assigns one rider, a point rider, to a different class according to level of difficulty. The riders are chosen before each show.

The points they acquire in their placement go towards not only their personal point total, but also towards the team’s total. The total at the end of the show for one’s team determines who takes home Champion High Point Team and Reserve High Point Team. At the end of the season the points from each show are added up which determine the place of each team.

“One major difference this season is we do not have riders in each division,” Kilpatrick said. “This is due to riders graduating or unable to attend shows for various reasons. This impacts the team because then we are missing a point rider in those classes where other teams have them. Despite this though, we are still holding our own.”

Kilpatrick said that not having the ability to fill a spot in every division is one of the biggest obstacles they have faced, but they manage to make up for points in other areas.

According to Newman, the biggest strength of the team is the dedication of its newest members.

Sofia Kaufman, ’17, believes the team’s natural ability and support for one another are what make them successful.

“The great thing about our team is that we are all very good at our own levels,” Kaufman said. “Because of our individual success we are able to be a successful team. We are all very supportive of one another. We have good leadership, and a strong support system.”

Kaufman said because of the way the points are added up if individuals do well then the team as a whole does well, so they always want each other to do well.

“…Naturally, we all cheer one another on. We also all practice together, regardless of level, so we all seek to help one another in practice,” Kaufman said.
With two more shows left this fall and three shows coming up in the spring the team plans to stay focused and continue to work hard and cheer each other on.

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