Edging out the competition, the HWS Equestrian Team recently took home several blue ribbons during a horse show event hosted by Nazareth College at Lehman Farms in Pittsford, N.Y.
Blue ribbons were taken home by Emily Fearey ’16, Courtney Holt ’15, Erica Lipke ’18, Claire Miney ’17 and Gabrielle Steinhardt ’17. In addition, Steinhardt was named the Reserve High Point Rider for the day. Overall, the team placed fifth at the show.
Holt, the team captain, says one of HWS Equestrian’s goals this season has been to send as many riders as possible to the regional competition in spring 2015. Currently, Miney and the team’s co-captain, Steinhardt, have qualified for regionals. Holt says the team would like to have one more rider qualify for the zone competition during regionals. In all, the team has competed in five shows this semester, with one left to go.
Vying against top teams such as Cornell University, Alfred University, University of Rochester and Ithaca College, the team is currently ranked eighth out of 13 colleges and universities in the region. HWS Equestrian, which was established as a club sport in 2007, is part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.
“Everyone is very supportive of each other at shows, wanting to see everyone do well at all levels of riding,” says Gail Foster ’17, who took dressage lessons for the past eight years before joining the team. “Riding on the team has been a great experience so far.”
Foster says it’s been an outstanding learning experience, one in which she has been able to gain insights from advanced riders.
Meghan Greco ’18, says that as a first-year student, the team has been a great way to connect with other students interested in riding. “I went from knowing no one on campus to knowing an amazing group of women who all come from different riding backgrounds, which leads to an extremely dynamic team.”
For Holt, riding has allowed her to create lasting friendships on campus. “Horse shows are a great opportunity to spend time doing something I love with a great group of people,” she says.
“Club sports allow students to participate and be competitive in their favorite sports without the pressure and time commitment of a varsity sport,” says Holt, who has participated in the club team since her first year at the Colleges.
Holt encourages students at HWS to take advantage of the great club sports program offered.
“Riding reinforces time management, discipline, responsibility and countless other life skills that are applicable in almost any situation,” Holt says. “Not only has the team provided me with fun memories and strong friendships, but I have learned skills that will be utilized in my life after HWS.”
The team is coached by Sarah Barge ’02, who owns and operates Stone Lane Stables in West Bloomfield, N.Y., where lessons take place. Barge’s goal is to develop high quality and successful horses and riders. Lessons also take place with trainer Sarah Donahue.
The current HWS Equestrian Team roster is as follows:
Gabrielle Brisson ’15, Courtney Holt ’15, Catherine Price ’15, Emily Fearey ’16, Kristin Ressel ’16, Alexa Campolieto ’17, Sophia Catania ’17, Emma Fricke ’17, Gail Foster ’17, Erin Lichter ’17, Claire Miney ’17, Gabrielle Steinhardt ’17, Allie Brown ’18, Sara Dolan ’18, Hannah Frankel ’18, Meghan Greco ’18 and Erica Lipke ’18.