The Christopher Newport University Equestrian Club, part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, rode out to a strong start to begin their competition season, with the team placing third overall at competitions held by Virginia Commonwealth University on Oct. 6 and Randolph-Macon on Oct. 2. CNU also found success in the individual category from some of the newest riders as freshmen Kelly Norden and Morgan Boswell both won each of their events at the VCU competition.
Each ISHA competition is split into separate divisions, such as open, intermediate and novice, in which individuals compete to score as many points as possible for their team by placing in the top six. The team with the most points wins the competition, while the individual with the most points scored is named the high point rider.
Norden, who was the high point rider at the VCU competition, said that it’s interesting to be competing in a group environment. “The most exiting thing about being on the Equestrian Show Team is actually being part of a team for once. Horseback riding is a very individual sport, so I have never had an experience like this. Having the support of other riders is so encouraging.”
Under the direction of Coach Ryann Winn, who also owns the team’s home barn Amazing Grace Stable, the team is constantly looking to improve themselves. “Our coach always speaks of having a teachable attitude and being positive. Riding is such a mental sport. There are so many variables out of control prepares to in effect do damage control,” said sophomore Dylan Kramer.
Junior Sally Meyer, president of the team, has high expectations for the team, which has started to gain momentum in the last couple of years. “The most exciting part of this team is that we began at the bottom of our region and then two years ago we won second place, which the team had never done before against schools that have varsity programs. I get excited potential of this team to be the best that we can be and to continue to excel against such stiff competition.”
The team’s next competition takes place on Nov. 3 at William and Mary.