Ole Miss Equestrian

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By Colleen Stimola

The Ole Miss Equestrian Club is a fledging team, started in 2015 by university student, Colleen Stimola. English and Western riders at all levels and abilities are welcome to join each semester. Ownership of a horse is not required, as riders learn to adapt to a variety of horses, which is a key component of competitions.

The Ole Miss Equestrian team just finished their Fall 2017 semester, and it was a huge success. The roster had eight freshmen, four sophomores, five juniors, and six seniors who compete in both the English and Western divisions at Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competitions. Ole Miss is in IHSA Region 2, Zone 5 with 16 other competing universities.  The team attends competitions, approximately two per month, primarily in Georgia and Alabama.

This past semester Ole Miss finished in the top three at each competition, defeating many top SEC Equestrian teams. Riders Colleen Stimola and Emory Barnes were the first riders of Ole Miss to receive Reserve High Point Rider awards, meaning they had the second highest points out of all riders from the day’s competition.

The Ole Miss Equestrian team has been growing rapidly and we are eager to begin the spring competition season. Riders will compete every weekend of February at area universities, followed by Regional competition in March. At least two riders will be attending Regionals for the first time in Ole Miss history, and everyone is very excited about this accomplishment!

Although the Equestrian Club has come very far in a short period of time, there is still the need to continue to attract more diverse members and remain competitive within the SEC and other universities. To date, the University of Mississippi has not financially supported the equestrian team, even though some other area universities recognize and fund equestrian teams on their campuses. Since Ole Miss does not have its own stable, the team cannot currently host an equestrian competition; Ole Miss riders can only participate at Intercollegiate shows sponsored by other universities. Sometimes Ole Miss students who are competing must drive long distances to get to regional competitions on weekends, which also requires overnight accommodations in hotels. The Ole Miss riders are hoping to obtain land and build stabling and arena facilities for the team. We are requesting donations to bring this dream to reality in Oxford, Mississippi.

For information on how to donate:  https://www.olemissequestrian.com/donations.

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