Award-winning Equestrian Club aims to extend reach on campus
Five members of the Belmont University Equestrian Club competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition on Feb. 11 and 12, and won ribbons in many of the categories it entered into.
Members Clara Walz, Camila Conesa and Rachel Martin each won ribbons. Jessica Repko and Sara Schandelmeyer also competed.
The competition was held at Middle Tennessee State University, and the club competed against other universities — some with teams as large as 50 people.
“I was really proud,” said Conesa, the club’s treasurer. “With what we’re working with, we did really well.”
The Equestrian Club typically competes in two competitions per semester, but this semester the second competition falls during spring break, so the members aren’t able to make it to the competition, said Walz, club president.
The next time the club competes will be in the fall semester.
There are about 15 members of the club, but about 12 of the members are active, Walz said.
The Equestrian Club is trying to get involved in on-campus events to get its name out and host tables outside of McWhorter Hall so students can get to know it and its members, said Walz.
“We want to grow and expand, and not only give back to the student body, but also see if there’s a way we can give back to the Belmont community and even the greater community,” she said.
Walz wants to expand the club and get more members because she believes they have a unique opportunity to offer Belmont students, she said.
“Horseback riding also teaches responsibility, how to have a good work ethic,” said Walz. “We would love to have more people join us and to experience this.”
The Equestrian Club funds itself, partially through members paying membership dues. Horseback riding gets expensive quickly, so it can be difficult for members to finance, said Walz.
“It’s always something we kinda struggle with, honestly,” said Walz. “We try to do as many fundraisers as we can.”
The club petitions the Student Government Association to cover fees for competitions and faculty, although most of its funding comes from members and fundraisers. The amount of money SGA can give the club varies from year to year.
“We totally understand the limitations that SGA has,” said Conesa. “We can’t just be going up and like asking for thousands and thousands of dollars.”
Though it is expensive, the club wants to make sure everyone who wants to be involved gets the chance to ride.
“We do everything that we can to help out and make sure that anyone who truly is really interested and really wants to ride, that they’re able to,” Walz said.
This article was written by Emily Allen. Photo courtesy of the Belmont University Equestrian Club.