The Wheaton Equestrian competitive team is a club sport that gives students a chance to ride and showcase their talent. Yesterday, the team of twelve (of which nine participated) had its first show of the season which was hosted by Worcester State University at Maplewood Farms in Berlin, MA.
Wheaton is a part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (I.H.S.A) that, along with other member colleges in the region, go to shows and host a show each year. Other colleges include Bentley, Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis, Bridgewater State, Stonehill, Tufts, Wellesley and Worcester State, among others.
The I.H.S.A has grown and developed since it was established in 1967 by Bob Cacchione, a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Today, the organization encompasses 37 Regions in 8 Zones with almost 400 member colleges in 45 states and Canada – representing more than 9000 riders.
Members of Wheaton’s Equestrian team include President Rachel Kirk ’16, Treasurer Brittany Burke ’16 and Secretary Thea Ziegler ’17, among others. The team is coached by Carly Fisher and Missy McNamara. Members have weekly lessons with two to four people at Clarion Farm in Franklin, and have six more shows that go through early November.
Frannie Palmer ’17, who has been part of the team since her freshman year, said, “For the structure of the shows, there are divisions based on ability. So there are beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced classes. It’s a really long day because half of the show is jumping and the riders have to go individually for that. The other half is flatwork.”
Wheaton will be co-hosting with Wellesley on November 1 at the barn at Ridgetop Farm in Holliston, MA.