CWU Equestrian rides on to Hillsboro

The+CWU+Equestrian+team+competes+during+western+style+riding+at+a+competition.
The CWU Equestrian team competes during western style riding at a competition.

The CWU Equestrian team competes during western style riding at a competition.

CWU Equestrian Team

CWU Equestrian Team

The CWU Equestrian team competes during western style riding at a competition.

Clayton Huber, Staff Reporter

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The CWU equestrian team is heading down to Hillsboro, Oregon, to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association regional event. Regionals are at McKay Creek Equestrian Center in Hillsboro.

There are a lot of aspects involved in organizing a regional event.  It takes a huge group of committed members, donated horses, a big facility that is covered and food vendors.

“To give you an example, for our show that we hosted, we needed to get 40 horses donated to us for the weekend,” rider and team coach Alyssa Miller said. “We go around Ellensburg and surrounding areas and ask horse owners to donate their horses to us for a weekend and allow several students to hop on them and do a performance class.”

The Hillsboro event hosts top competitors from CWU, Washington State University, University of Washington, University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Linn-Benton Community College. They are sending their best riders to compete for a spot in New York. CWU is sending Gabrielle Longmire, Lacey Goldsby and Miller to compete down in Oregon.

“This year has been going really well for CWU. Lacey Goldsby and myself will both be attending regionals with the guarantee that we will be competing at semi-finals in New York,” Longmire said. “Alyssa Miller must go top-two in her class at regionals to advance to [the] semi-finals.”

The semi-finals event in New York is one of the bigger weekends the riders get to experience. It is one of the final times they can qualify for the finals and one of the few shows each year that the riders look forward to.

“Hillsboro puts on a great show that is very important to us because there is a limited amount of shows that are offered in a year,” rider Darby Throndsen said. “So each show is very important.”

Competitions are made more difficult because the horses are donated. Riders will be riding a different horse in each competition, making horse selection incredibly important.

“Instead the host school must provide [primarily through outside donation] enough horses for all competing members from other schools,” Longmire said. “This evens the playing field.”

As the season approaches its end, CWU students prepare for the long haul to Hillsboro to try to send their riders to New York to compete for a spot in Nationals.

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CWU Equestrian rides on to Hillsboro