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Equestrian team hopes for strong start to second season

Weekly practices take place in small groups according to skill level. From left: Achilles; Sarah Madden, ’17; Mary Bradley Cassada, ’19; Grace Edwards, ’18; Rhiannon Lemaster, ’19; and Boomer.
Weekly practices take place in small groups according to skill level. From left: Achilles; Sarah Madden, ’17; Mary Bradley Cassada, ’19; Grace Edwards, ’18; Rhiannon Lemaster, ’19; and Boomer.
By: Sarah Madden, Senior Writer

“Wait, we have an equestrian team?”

Wofford junior Bennett Camp-Crowder, co-captain and co-founder of the Wofford College equestrian team, says she hears this question on a regular basis.

Once a small handful of riders competing against much larger NCAA D-1 teams, the equestrian team is entering its second season with a much more substantial roster: 17 riders from all skill levels make this team a dynamic force against their competitors, says co-captain Abby Umberger, ’17.

“The more riders we have in each division, the more team points we are able to collect, depending on the placings of the teammate we designate as the point rider,” she says. “But we choose the point rider in each division before we know what horses we’re riding, so it’s always somewhat up to chance.”

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The team practices weekly in Landrum, S.C. and is comprised of mostly underclassmen: six juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen make up the team, nine of which are returning riders. Even with a few team members injured or studying abroad this semester, head coach Jeanne Smith is thrilled to have so many riders going into the season:

“I’m very excited to see the team double in size from our first year. With our returning experienced riders and talented new members, we’re building towards a very strong competitive team.”

The first two competitions (called shows) of the season were held back to back, hosted in Columbia by the University of South Carolina team. The third and final show of the fall season will be held Nov. 14 in Charleston. The five spring shows will be hosted by Clemson University, Lander University, Georgia Southern University and the College of Charleston.

These shows are free and open to the public, and Umberger is hoping that for the more local shows, her peers will come see what the team is all about.

“We don’t race, like some people expect. We compete in a discipline that is based on the rider’s form over jumps and on the flat – and we do it on horses we’ve never met before. That makes things really interesting,” she says. “Come see what it’s like! It means a lot to us, and it’s an easy day trip.”

Throughout the season, the team will compete against teams such as Clemson University, Converse College, Lander University, Furman University, Western Carolina University, Coastal Carolina University, the College of Charleston and more.

Allison Andrews, ’19, an experienced equestrian and a new member, says that she’s glad to be on a growing team.

“I am so excited to show with everybody, and I look forward to learning from our coaches, Jeanne and Lisa. I can’t wait to get to know everyone on the team as the season progresses… I know it will be a great experience and that we will have a great season with lots of fun times.”

Sophomore rider Grace Edwards scored big points for the team last year, and she has set equally big goals for this year’s team.

“My goal is to be able to compete as a team at regionals in March, and I think, with a team like this, we’ve got a pretty good shot at it!”

For more information, find the team on Facebook at
“Wofford College IHSA Equestrian Team” and on Twitter @WoCoEquestrian.

For results from the first weekend of competition, see the exclusive online content here!

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