POTSDAM — The new equestrian club at Clarkson University is drawing students with a wide range of riding ability and creating a close-knit social group for horse lovers.
Since starting in 2016, the club has grown to 20 members, including 11 on a show team that competes against other collegiate teams.
Club President Stacey Widera, a 21-year-old senior, said the club is very inclusive.
“There are no tryouts,” she said. “We have a really good mix. We have some who have competed for years and others who have only been on a horse a couple of months.”
The 2017-18 season was the club’s first time showing as an intercollegiate team, and many of its members took home top ribbons in all divisions. There were six competitions in the fall semester and two this semester.
Club members participate in two lessons per week and tailor training to the skill of the rider.
The first lesson is a team practice that emphasizes stamina, strength and correctness of position.
The additional lesson is taught based on individual riding level and provides more one-on-one instruction to improve a rider’s effectiveness and jumping ability.
Training is held at the Rein Tree Stables and lessons are taught by the owner, Jerry Dean.
Some club members have their own horses who are boarded at Rein Tree, while others ride Mr. Dean’s horses.
While officially the members are only teammates, many said the bond feels stronger.
“Not only do I get to do one of the things I love most, riding, but I also got a second family,” said Kasie Stamp, a sophomore. “I can’t wait to see this club grow and thrive for many years to come.”
The group is off to a promising start, but they also have their eyes fixed forward.
“This group has become more than just a team, this is more than just a club, to me this is a family,” said Elyse DuBois, an environmental engineering major. “I’m humbled to see how far this club has gone and thrilled to see what the future holds for the Clarkson Equestrian Club.”
Miss Widera said the club also provides members the chance to participate in internship trainings in Ireland and other places.
More info about the club can be found at: clarksonequestrian.weebly.com/, on Facebook at @clarksonequestrian, on Instagram at @cu_equestrianteam.
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