Equestrian team competes at regional competition

By Stephanie Schwartz, Advertising Manager

April 10, 2013

On Friday, April 5, while most students were enjoying the beautiful sunshine or getting ready for formal, Julianne Kime, Brittany Matters and Rianna Lane made their way to Georgia Southern to compete in zones – a highly ranked equestrian show that only the best riders from each zone qualify to compete in. After winning in the regional show, which allowed them to move onto zones, the girls understood hard work and persistence.

To qualify for the regional show, riders must earn points. The High Point University Equestrian Team has the opportunity to ride in seven different shows to try to earn 36 points. While this may seem like a low number of points, trying to accumulate them in only seven opportunities is a great challenge. Some riders even have to work for two years to accumulate points to qualify for regionals. To make it to regionals is a huge deal.

The team performed well this year, winning third overall at regionals as well as winning Team Sportsmanship Award. Kime qualified to compete at zones in the open flat class, Lane in the walk-trot class and Matters in the novice fences class.

Coach Cathy Schlaeppi is doing more for the girls than teaching just riding lessons; she is teaching life lessons as well. “We have a motto in our barn that we thought up: We’re all about integrity, honesty, compassion, sportsmanship, horsemanship – the qualities that make us not only a good person but a good horseman. Hopefully that’s what they’re leaving here with, the lessons that they learn in the barn take you into life.”

The team has gotten together not only to share a love of horses but service as well. They fundraise for members on the team who need financial assistance as well as participating in therapeutic riding programs for those who are disabled. For a team who has only been around for three years, they have an impressive morale and team bond.