By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
COWGIRL UP: The OSU equestrian team has become known locally and nationally.
The Oklahoma State Equestrian Team has shown dedication and determination since establishment in 1999. Having competed on the national and world level, the team is sure to earn even more honors in the coming year.
After much research by the university, the women’s team was formed and has brought with it the opportunity for students to show and broaden their equestrian knowledge. Head Coach Larry Sanchez has been there from the beginning and is looking forward to everything to come for team.
He explains that the interest to become a part of the team has more than doubled in recent years and the possibilities are endless with the great talent that is available from students.
The Equestrian Team has become nationally recognized through competitions. Having entered the Varsity National Championships each year since establishment, the team has proven to combine talent and training for a number of victories. In 2003, 2004 and 2006, the team earned the National Championship Title during the event.
Other competitions throughout the year include earning wins against other collegiate teams throughout the nation. Divided into regions just as other sports, the team has already competed against other riders in the Big 12 Championship.
In addition, the team enters into the American Quarter Horse Association World Championships. This year, students qualified through the final rounds of the event and earned scores that were better than some of the top riders in the world.
One student from the Tulsa area has been involved with the team for almost four years. Jessie Brothers has been riding since she was young and knew that she wanted to join the team while still attending Metro Christian Academy. She has enjoyed the experience and made lifelong friends along the way. “I only have one semester left and hope to perform my best and help the team as much as possible.”
Oklahoma State has provided a number of areas for the team to practice. Located on 50 acres of land, the Equine Center provides open pastures for riding and a large stable for boarding. Currently, there are 60 horses that are kept at the center for the students to enjoy.
Horses are assigned to students on the team at the beginning of each academic year. They are trained in a variety of disciplines and are continually worked with to improve their performance. The horses not only help those on the team, but also bring words to life from textbooks for animal science and veterinary students.
One of the horses at the center has a very special role for Oklahoma State. While bringing attention to the academic programs and also to the Equestrian Team, Bullet charges across the football field following each touchdown during home games. For more information about the Oklahoma State Equestrian Team, visit www.okstate.com.