Equestrian Club earns high point at Horse on Course

Allegheny women ranked third of 15 in region


Photo contributed by Callie Garlick

The Allegheny Equestrian Club earned high point at the Horse on Course show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. The team will host a show this weekend in Coolville, Ohio.

Alex Holmes, Sports Editor

The Allegheny Equestrian Club achieved high point at the Horse on Course show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, Nov. 14. The team is currently among West Virginia University and Seton Hill University in the top three out of 15 in the region.

“They are both NCAA and we are a club sport, so we’re holding our own,” said Tianli Kilpatrick, ’16.

Kilpatrick has been on the Allegheny team since her freshman year and is the team’s captain, riding at the open fences and flat level.

The Allegheny team was founded in 2002 by Sarak Klinger, ’04, and Addrienne Coble, ’04, and is part of Zone 2, Region 5 of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Allegheny is joined in the region by Clarion University, Edinboro University, Mercyhurst University, University of Pittsburgh, Seton Hill University, Slippery Rock University, West Virginia University, and Washington & Jefferson.

“My favorite part is the partnership with the horses and the camaraderie with other teams,” Kilpatrick said.

Callie Garlick, ’18, said having a sense of team at the collegiate level is different than most equestrian competition.

“Most competing with horses is really individual, besides collegiate riding which is nice because it brings people together in doing something we all love,” Garlick said.

Garlick has been riding for more than ten years and competes at the advanced walk trot level.

This year the equestrian team showed in seven shows this fall semester and will show in two shows in the spring.

Kilpatrick said the show she likes the most is Stonegate.

“It’s a really nice venue and they are usually pretty organized and it’s a full weekend, we’re gone Friday afternoon and we come back Sunday night so we’re showing Saturday and Sunday. It’s a whole weekend of horses,” Kilpatrick said.

Garlick added that everyone shows at Stonegate unlike other shows that have limited entries and fewer people riding.

“We get to spend more time together because [Stonegate] is two weekends,” said Bailey Kudla-Williams, ’17.

Kudla-Williams shows in the intermediate fences and flat class, having begun her time with equestrian in elementary school.

A typical weekend for the team holds early mornings, arriving at the show by 7 a.m. to  watch horses warm up before the show starts at 9 a.m.

Kilpatrick said most shows run jumping classes first then have a lunch break followed by the flat classes. The jumping classes involve riders doing a course of eight jumps and flat classes entail walking, trotting and cantering.

“We show every weekend from Oct. 4 until now, with two more this weekend. It’s a lot of time off campus, it’s a lot of waking up at 4 a.m.” Kilpatrick said.

Garlick said one of the best parts of showing is not knowing what horse she will ride that weekend.

“We don’t take our own horses to the shows that we lesson on, we just go and ride on whatever they give you and you don’t get to warm up. You just go straight into the show ring. It’s fun because you experience a lot of different things and even if it doesn’t go well you still learn something which is really beneficial,” Garlick said.

Kudla-Williams agreed, saying sometimes the rides that do not go well are the most fun and teach riders the most.

This year the team has at least one rider in every class and is using that to overcome challenges they may face.

“The shows starting so soon was a challenge. We are only at school for a month and some people don’t get to ride all summer, then they come back and have two weeks to practice before we have the first show,” Garlick said.

This weekend the team will be hosting a show in Coolville, Ohio.

“We are hoping it runs smoothly, the horses behave, and nobody gets hurt,” Kilpatrick said.