UCCS equestrian team rider places in regional competition

Mar. 14, 2016

Halle Thornton
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The UCCS Equestrian Team is in the middle of its second year as an established club.

Senior biology major Kirstie Stahlnecker competed in the Walk and Trot at regionals on Feb. 27 at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming. While she placed third, she did not advance to sectionals in Stanford, Calif.

Co-captain of the team, junior biology major Jessica Bender, explained that the team got started in fall 2014. Biology major Lyndsy Johnson is the other team captain.

Bender discussed the different divisions of flat horseback riding. There is open flat, intermediate flat, novice flat, advanced walk/trot/canter, beginning walk/trot/canter and walk/trot.

There are also three levels of over fences: open, intermediate and novice.

Bender said that riders compete at various levels based on an entry test the rider takes, and as they show and hopefully place, they can earn enough to move up in a division.

Intermediate requires a little more skill and precision than novice, but not as much as open.

“Each level requires more experience and skill as a rider, and the judge can ask more complicated moves as the levels go up,” Bender said.

The club is open to anyone who has an interest in riding competitively. You do not have to have horseback riding experience.

The rider does not have to own their own horse; the hosting school for competitions provides the horses. The rider draws a horse from the hat, and that is the horse you ride for the competition.

“We are a newer club, but we have plans to grow and be even more competitive in the years to come,” Bender said.

More information about the team can be found on their Mountain Lion Connect page.