Reaching out to Riding Recruits

April 26, 2017

Representatives of the Mary Baldwin University Equestrian Team last weekend traveled to a horse show, not for competition, but to recruit middle and high school riders to MBU.


MBU-affiliated competitor, Mud Puddle
Riding coach Britni Cash and Assistant Coach and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Shakespeare Kerry Cooke chatted with, who they hope, will be future Fighting Squirrels at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), April 21-23 in Lexington.
Cash’s interscholastic (or middle/high school) team, Clover Grove, qualified for the national competition. The event did not only give Clover Grove an opportunity to shine — earning the title of fourth in the nation — it gave MBU an opportunity to support young riders, and introduce them to the opportunities the university has to offer.
One such opportunity includes competing on one of the many show horses with which MBU riders compete, five of which traveled to IEA as part of the ‘catch riding’ method of showing. Similar to IHSA (the association with whom MBU team members ride), IEA riders draw their mounts names “out of a hat,” a system that affords any rider — regardless of financial background — an opportunity to compete at a high level. All of the horses, Cooke said, including Ivan, Mud Puddle, Dirinian, Aaron, and Nemo, performed beautifully, and became favorites of hundreds of interscholastic riders.
“Beyond Clover Grove’s success, it was wonderful to see MBU horses help young riders achieve their goals,” Cooke said. “And while the horses did their part in the arena, I had the chance to speak to numerous students looking to ride at the university level. Several of them mentioned MBU was a top choice. It was a fantastic weekend all around.”