Hart equestrian jumps over expectations

Olivia Reschke, Staff Writer

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The Interscholastic Equestrian League or IEL is an association that allows young horseback riders to have the opportunity to connect with riders from other schools. The goal of IEL is to introduce riders to competing on a team instead of individually. The Interscholastic Equestrian League also allows students from different schools to compete with each other in horseback riding.

In this year’s IEL competition, all of Hart’s equestrian team members managed to place within the top fifty. Sophomore EmmaRae Dowler and her horse Topaz ranked 46th out of 112 competitors in the Freshman Division.

Dowler joined the Interscholastic Equestrian League to compete for Hart and to spend time with her friends. Dowler said she competes because it is one of her favorite things to do even though Hart is a small team.
“Even though we’re a small team since equestrian isn’t common, we still practice a couple times a week, and our teammates help push us to do the best we can with our horses,” said Dowler.

Freshman Francesca Barbano and her horse Rio ranked tenth in the Freshman Hunter Division as well as in the Freshman Equitation Division out of 112 competitors. Barbano was also the Freshman Co-Reserve Champion at their last show.

Meanwhile, sophomore Abby Shaw and her horse Wonder ranked 12th in the Junior Varsity Division, 13th in the Junior Varsity Equitation Division and seventh out of 92 competitors in the Junior Varsity Hunter Division.

According to Barbano, the Interscholastic Equestrian League is much different than traditional equestrian competitions. Instead of competing individually, riders compete as a team. When one teammate places in a class, the entire team places with them.

In order to apply for the Interscholastic Equestrian League, the necessary requirements are to have a horse available for practice as well as a trainer. The trainer and horse must always be present during the shows. To get the proper paperwork to apply for the league, contact Mrs. Martin, a Hart staff member. She will then give you the correct information to successfully apply to join the Interscholastic Equestrian League.