The LSU Equestrian team performed spectacularly at the first competition of the season hosted by Tulane University, October 6-7, in New Orleans, LA. Team spirit was evident when LSU won High Point Team for both of the shows held that weekend.
You are walking through the gates of Equest Farm in New Orleans, ready for the first competition of the season. You stroll down the pathway with grass fields and a row of trees on either side. To your right, you see the barn, buzzing with the sound of horses being readied for the show. Finally you reach the ring, with horses already warming up. Tulane team-members frantically setting courses, and WHAM, the purple and gold takes over your entire field of vision. The LSU Equestrian team has successfully claimed their show spot.
The LSU Equestrian team has taken the naturally individual sport to a whole new level: we have transformed it into a team effort. Since we are a relatively new organization, only 11 years old, it has been difficult to raise enough funds to bring the entire team to competitions. But thanks to the ever-growing support, effort from team leaders, publicity, and membership, we have started traveling with the entire team. The team presence and support has made a world of difference, which was proved in the 2011-12 season when the team was named Zone VII, Region 2 Champion and competed at the Zone VII Championship.
Due to the rider limits set by Tulane, a majority of our 37-girl team was unable to compete. But everyone came, everyone cheered, and everyone supported each other. It is so rewarding when the end of your round is met by thunderous applause from the sea of purple and gold lining the rail. Every ride becomes more important because you know that you are not only riding for yourself, but also for your team.
The LSU team did a spectacular job at the October competition in New Orleans. We effectively dominated Show 1, winning High Point Team and surpassing the second place team by 9 points (a larger margin than normal). During show 2, we were plagued with the “second place curse,” but the team pulled through and won High Point Team again. We also had 3 team members “point up” into the next division, qualifying them for the regional championship that will be held in Baton Rouge in March of 2013.
At the end of the weekend, we left New Orleans with 8 blue ribbons, 23 other ribbons, a Reserve High Point rider ribbon, and two High Point Team ribbons. We are ecstatic about our fabulous start to the year, and we can’t wait to rule the ring at West Texas A&M University in mid-November.
Corinne Plough // LSU Equestrian President