UConn Equine Teams

 

dressage rider on horse (left), rider jumping on horse (center), western rider and horse (right)
 

Spring 2020 Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage Show Schedule
Spring 2020 Polo Team Schedule

 

Join the UConn Equine Team Email List

UConn Dressage Team

UConn Equestrian Team

Samantha Calzone Scholarship

UConn Polo Teams

UConn Western Team

Overview

The University of Connecticut offers multiple options for students interested in participating on competitive riding teams.  Options include the Dressage Team, Equestrian Team (hunt seat), Polo Teams (men and womens), and Western Team. Other non-competitive riding options include the UConn Morgan Drill Team, Horse Riding Practicum, and Indepdent Study opportunities through advisors in the Department of Animal Science. Students interested in riding on the teams are selected through tryouts as well as through demonstrated riding ability in the Horse Riding Practicum depending on the team. During the Practicum, coaches evaluate riders on their skills, hard work and effort they exhibit in lessons. Students are allowed to ride on multiple competitive teams depending on competition schedule overlaps.

Students on the Equestrian and Western Teams compete in shows through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Students on the Dressage Team compete in shows through the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA). Students on the polo teams compete in Intercollegiate Polo through the United States Polo Association. The objective of the intercollegiate competition is to offer the opportunity for competition to riders in their first years of riding as well as to students with show experience. Riders compete on horses from the host college that they are assigned during a draw (except for polo). Here at UConn, each student will ride a variety of different horses in the lessons so they are prepared for the challenges of the show ring.

The Horse Riding Practicum is a self-improvement non-credit horse riding program. UConn students pay a fee for riding in one or more lessons per week. Students can ride twice or even three times a week for an additional fee (fees may increase annually). Many team members ride two to three times a week. Our lesson program consists of 25-35 horses, mostly Morgans but also Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and Warmblood crosses. The care and management of these horses is supported by the UConn Department of Animal Science.

Note: Students from other UConn branches can join the equine riding teams, as well as participate in the Practicum. Non-UConn students cannot ride on the equine riding teams.
 

The UConn Dressage Team

The Dressage Team consists of approximately fifteen riders who are selected through a combination of tryouts and the Horse Riding Practicum.  The team members compete in Intro through 1st level within the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA). They compete in eight shows per year plus Regionals and Nationals.  The team won the Region B division in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and advanced to Nationals as a team in 2016, placing 8th in the nation. The team sent one rider to nationals in 2017 and she placed 3rd in her division and also sent five riders to Nationals in 2019.

Want to learn more? Visit their team sites below or contact the coach, Alena Meacham, at Alena.Meacham@UConn.edu.

UConn Dressage Team at Nationals 2019UConn Dressage Team with ribbons fall 2018
UConn Dressage Team at Nationals 2019 (left) and fall 2018 (right)


The UConn Equestrian Team

Becoming a member of the UConn Equestrian team is an honor and an achievement. Many friends are made and riders learn the lessons of good sportsmanship and commitment.

Team members are selected through the Horse Practicum and tryouts held at the beginning of the fall semester.  Team members are selected by level of ability (many of our Walk-Trot riders began right here in our program). Good position (equitation) is a must, show experience is definitely a plus, but not necessary and you don't need to have your own horse to be on the team.

Students on the UConn Equestrian Team compete on the team at Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) shows in hunt seat classes including Walk-Trot, Walk-Trot-Canter, Novice, Intermediate or Open divisions. Alumni on the Flat/Fences level is open to alumni that have ridden in IHSA shows as an undergraduate in Novice level or above. The levels Over Fences are Novice, Intermediate or Open. The show competition is for all skill levels who compete individually and with the team. We have approximately 10 shows a year and riders have to accumulate 35 points. Once riders acquire the points, they will go on to Regionals. Our region currently consists of 10 schools in the Connecticut and Rhode Island area. At the Regionals, the top 2 riders go to Zones and from the Zones the top 2 riders from each level will go on to Nationals. We host 2 shows a year at UConn's facility.

There are approximately 25 members on the UConn Equestrian Team. There are 2 co-captains who also help out at every show.  Transportation is provided to the shows. It is desirable that you have proper britches, dark blue or dark colored coat and clean shirt. Dress is very important for a good presentation at the horse shows. Hard hats must have a chin strap (must be ASTM approved) and black boots should be worn. Clothes can be borrowed from team members if needed. Being a team member is a weighty commitment, and that means you must make up all your lessons--make-ups are available and are encouraged especially right before a horse show. Team members are also encouraged to help each other to improve their skills. Team members will each be assigned a school horse at the beginning of the semester and they will be responsible for the grooming of that horse throughout the semester. There are team dinners once a month. We also hold meetings for various team business.

On a normal show day, the team 6:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. and remains at the show all day until 4:30 - 5:00 p.m to support all team members. Many parents have set up great lunches for the whole team!

UConn's Equestiran Team is very competitive, usually ending up Champion or Reserve Champion Team every year in our region. They a National Champion in Open Equitation Over Fences in '88 and '89 and National and Reserve Champions in Alumni Over Fences in 1996 and 2003. They have students placing at Nationals almost every year and sent a rider in 2019. In 2010, 2012, and 2015, 2016 the team was the Region I Champion High Point College. In 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2018 the team won Reserve Champion High Point College in Region I. The UConn Equestrian Team is also invited to compete at the Tournament of Champions in various parts of the country every year.

NOTE: The UConn Equestrian Team is not a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sanctioned team, however, it is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and competes within their rules and regulations.

Want to learn more? Visit their team sites below or contact the coach, Alena Meacham, at Alena.Meacham@UConn.edu.

 

UConn Equstrian Team fall 2019UConn Equstrian Team at the Tournament of Champions spring 2020
UConn Equstrian Team fall 2019 (left) and at the Tournament of Champions spring 2020 (right)

 

Samantha Calzone Scholarship

The UConn Department of Animal Science is pleased to announce a newly endowed scholarship in memory of our alumna, Samantha Calzone. This scholarship will support continuing undergraduate animal science students who are members of the UConn Equestrian Team. We have also named a 2019 UConn foal in Sam's honor.  Please consider supporting this cause in memory of a wonderful student and teammate!

Click here to donate now!

Samantha Calzone with her horseUC Holiday pride (left) and filly UC Sam Calzone (right)Samantha Calzone with UConn morgan horse
Samantha Calzone (left and right) and UC Sam Calzone (chestnut filly center)


The UConn Polo Teams (Men and Women)

UConn supports both a men and women's polo team who compete in Intercollegiate Polo through the United States Polo Association.  The teams have won ten national championships and are competive both regionally and nationally. Varsity games include intercollegiate games against the 25 other intercollegiate programs such as Yale, University of Virginia, Cornell and Skidmore. The teams also compete against various other polo clubs. During the spring semester the teams compete in Eastern Regionals for a chance to qualify for Nationals.

Want to learn more? Visit their team sites below or contact the coach, Anders Carlton, at anders.carlton@uconn.edu.

UConn Women's Polo Team on horses 2019 UConn polo riding horses at a team scrimmage fall 2018
UConn Women's Polo Team 2019 (left) and a team scrimmage fall 2018 (right)


The UConn Western Team

The UConn Western Team selects members from try-outs at the beginning of fall semester. The team competes in Western Horsemanship and Reining classes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.  Students compete in walk-job (beginner) through reining (advanced) levels. They compete in approximately 8 shows per year including two home shows.

The Western Team is both an individual and a team sport. Riders compete for their own points while earning points for their team as well. Riders will receive individual placings and prizes, and the high point rider and high point team are awarded at the end of the show. During the regular season the Western Team competes against many colleges throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. Riders and teams that advance past the regional level have the chance to compete nationwide later in the season.

The Western Team had a very successful show season last year, with numerous members qualifying for the Regional competition.  These riders proudly represented UConn, and showed how great it is to be a part of the UConn Western Team.  In 2019, the team sent two riders to semi-finals and one rider to Nationals.  Additionally, our UConn Morgan horse Nightstar won Horse of the Year within our region in 2019!  

Want to learn more? Visit their team sites below or contact the coach, Jeremy Mimitz, at jmimitz@me.com.  
UConn Western Team fall 2019UConn rider at our home show fall 2018
UConn Western Team fall 2019 (left) and UConn rider at our home show fall 2018 (right)

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Department of Animal Science
Unit 4040
17 Manter Road
Storrs, CT 06269-4040

George White Building Room 107
Open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
Phone: (860) 486-2413
Fax: (860) 486-4375
Email: AnimalScience@UConn.edu