Equestrian Team Hosts First Head-To-Head
The Sacred Heart University women’s equestrian team will host its first-ever NCAA head-to-head competition when the Stonehill College Skyhawks come to Lion Hill Farm on, Sunday, February 11. The farm is located at 1020 Sport Hill Road, Easton. Competition will start at 9:30 a.m., when the riders compete in over fences (jumping) and then are tested on the flat (riding pattern).
The Pioneers are hosting the event in preparation for a full slate of NCAA competitions next season. In the past Sacred Heart has competed in both the NCAA and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Championships, but changes in the rules have taken the Pioneers out of the NCAA Championships in 2007.
Head coach Sloane Milstein intends to steer her team toward the NCAA next season and this event is a prelude to that. Although the Women's Equestrian Team has limited access to NCAA competitions this spring, a full season of Division 1 competitions are planned for the fall of 2007.
“We will definitely compete in more head-to-head events next season,” Milstein says. “I’ll have the team ride in other local horse shows to get added riding experience as we prepare for the NCAA Championships.”
The Sacred Heart University equestrian team is entering its 14th year as a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. There are currently 13 active members on the team, ranging from walk-on beginners to open level riders. Seniors Kelly McGovern, Lauren Pierce, Catherine Coyle, and Danielle Curcio have all qualified to participate in the IHSA Regional Championship this April.
Following the NCAA competition, the team will hold a Gymkhana (Games on Horseback) & Swap Meet (Equestrian Flea Market) to begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. While both are open to the public, participants must have some structured riding experience to participate. The team hopes to raise enough money from the event to travel to additional NCAA competitions out of state. Spectators are always welcome at no charge.