OCET Gets Down And Dirty
Oberlin has an equestrian team? What is an equestrian team? That’s not really a sport, is it? Thesea re common questions for an Oberlin College Equestrian team members. Oberlin does indeed have an equestrian team, and we recently completed a very successful 2000-2001 season.
The word “equestrian” means “riding on horseback.” OCET is comprised of three separate teams: Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage. Hunt Seat (also called “English”) riders compete in equitation “on the flat,” demonstrating walk, trot and canter while keeping a proper position, and “over fences,” jumping a course of fences of a specified height. In Western competition, riders use what most people would call the cowboy saddle, and are judged on the flat for equitation as well.
Higher-level riders compete in a reining class where they maneuver a horse through a series of slides, spins and other exciting movements. Dressage is often described as ballet on horseback. The horse and rider teams are scored individually on a series of movements. Less attention is paid to equitation and more importance is placed on how effectively the riders works with the horse to execute the movements.
Our Hunt Seat team placed fifth overall in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association region this year. We took Reserve High Point Team at the Miami University show in the fall, and sophomore Katherine Warshaw-Reid was Reserve High Point Rider at the Ohio University Southern Campus fall show. Three of our riders qualified for the regional championship competition. Junior Lis Kidder placed third in Walk Trot, and senior Jenny Conneff placed sixth in Intermediate Equitation on the flat. Also riding for Oberlin in the Advanced Walk Trot Center was senior Gwen Evans.
Our Western team of five members held our own against the big teams this year (such as Ohio State — frequently top in the nation), sending two members to the regional championships. Senior Allison Matthews placed fifth in the Advanced division. Also competing was Evans in Intermediate.
On April 1, the day after competing at regionals, OCET’s Dressage team competed in our first ever Interscholastic Dressage Association show. The four member team of sophomore Margaret Bell, Conneff, Matthews and Evans was the Reserve High Point Team for the day, and Evans was Reserve High Point Rider for the day. In our first show, competing against 11 other teams, we placed second, ahead of all the region’s top dressage teams but one (Lake Erie College).
So, yes. Oberlin has a highly successful equestrian team. And if anyone says riding is not a sport, those of us who are tired, sweaty, dirty and sore, beg to differ.
Gwen Evans is a member of the equestrian team
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OCET Gets Down And Dirty