January 03, 2013
The University of Tampa’s Equestrian Club will compete in its first show of the year in Tampa on Jan. 12.
The University of Tampa’s Equestrian Club has grown since its inception – from just seven members on the competitive team in its inaugural 2011 year to 22 this year, whittled down after try outs, and includes an alternate team.
“It’s been amazing,” said Kendra New ’13, a criminology major and team captain, noting that the club received the title of Most Improved Organization of the Year during the 2012 Leadership Awards Night. “It has taken a lot of hard work and persistence to get the word out there about our club. We’ve come a long way.”
The club will perform in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association USF Hunt Seat Show on Jan. 12. The free show runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be hosted by the University of South Florida at Cheval Equestrian Center in Lutz. This is the first time a show has been hosted this close to Tampa with the next closest venue in Ocala.
Generally, about 200 riders show on about 40 horses. UT will have about 10 riders participating. The competition is in a classic form of English riding called hunt seat with divisions for jumping, cantering, walking and trotting. Riders are assigned horses by drawing numbers ensuring that no one has the advantage of being familiar with their horse.
The UT students compete in a region including the University of Miami, Florida State University, Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of Florida.
Brigitte Werleman ’12 M.S. ’13, of Aruba, said she loves just being out on the horse, relaxed and having fun. She said it creates a bond between her and the horse, and it has created a bond among the team.
“We’ve become a family,” said Werleman, the club treasurer. “We’ve created friendships that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this organization.”