Taking the reins at regionals

For Truman State’s equestrian team, Midterm Break consisted of riding in two competitions, bringing home some top finishes and, for some, advancing to the next level of competition.

The first weekend of break, the team competed in the Western Regional Championship, and last weekend was the English Regional Championship, both in Springfield, Missouri. Western and English are two different types of riding styles. Equestrian Coach Emily Costello says the two championships represent the culmination of the year’s work and are used to decide which students move forward to the next level of competition, with the end goal of reaching the national level of competition.

Senior Kristin Banks competes during the novice flat event at the English Regional Championship. Submitted photo.

Costello says two of Truman’s riders placed fifth at the Western Regional. She says Truman’s team is in the most competitive Western zone in the country. She says to move on to the next level of competition, riders in the Western Regional Championship would need to place in the top two.

Costello says four riders from the English Regional advanced to Zones, the next level of competition. Two of the riders will jump fences and two will focus more on rail work, which means riders are judged on position and effectiveness.

Although none of the Western Regional riders qualified for the next level of competition, Costello says other riders from all over the country will ride some of Truman’s horses during those competitions.

Truman’s team belongs to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Costello says, which includes 400 schools and almost 10,000 competitive riders. She says the host colleges provide the horses for the competition, and the rider pulls a horse’s name out of a hat to compete with. Costello says if a school doesn’t have enough horses, universities bring their own. Truman and Kansas State University brought along some horses for these competitions, Costello says.

“It’s a collective effort to get these horse shows run,” Costello says. “It takes a lot of horses for a whole weekend of horse shows.”

For more information about Truman’s equestrian team, pick up a copy of the Index or read online on Issuu.