Feb 12, 2020

Hear the Tigers Roar: Sewanee’s Eventing Team

By Margaret Whisenhunt - University of the South
Sewanee Eventing at the 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Championships (left to right): Kelsey Bell, Margaret Whisenhunt and Tigger (team mascot), Catherine Walthall, coach Karine Gordy, Alexa Sinha holding Dennis (University mascot), and Anna Duggan. Photo courtesy of the Sewanee Eventing Team.

The Sewanee Eventing team was founded in 2016 under the direction of coach Karine Gordy. The University of the South, commonly known as Sewanee, sits atop what students call the “Mountain,” 13,000 acres of beautiful land on the Cumberland Plateau. The students at Sewanee are fortunate enough to have an equestrian center on campus which is shared by the Eventing and IHSA teams. The equestrian center boasts indoor and outdoor arenas, a 32-stall school horse barn, and a 16-stall boarder barn.

Team members competing at Poplar Place in September 2019. Photo courtesy of the Sewanee Eventing Team.

The team currently consists of 12 members from all over the country who come from very different riding backgrounds. Some have evented for years, while others made their eventing debut with the team. Members compete at many levels, ranging from Starter to two-star. Academically, the team is diverse as well, with majors such as English, French, bio-chem, psychology, global studies, and many more. The team allows members to form lifelong friendships with people they might never have met without the connection of horses.

Ava Hingson and Red at River Glen (Ava’s first horse trials!) in November 2019. Photo courtesy of the Sewanee Eventing Team.

The team would not exist without our coach, Karine Gordy. With a wealth of knowledge about the sport and about horses, Coach Gordy is the perfect person for the job. However, not only is Gordy a wonderful coach, she is also a wonderful mentor. She truly brings the team together.

Margaret Whisenhunt and Sportsfield Skyfall at Chattahoochee Hills in September 2019. Liz Crawley Photography Photo courtesy of the Sewanee Eventing Team.

Last year, the team competed for the first time at the 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships and is working hard to do even better this year.

At Sewanee, the team loves to condition their horses on the extensive network of trails, take lessons with Coach Gordy, and host clinicians. Currently, the team receives a small amount of funding from the university and is recognized as a club sport. In the future, we hope to receive more funding or be recognized as a varsity sport.

Kit Ferguson and Cillbhrid Tom at River Glen in November 2019. WNC Photography Photo courtesy of the Sewanee Eventing Team.

Keep up with the Sewanee Eventing Team by following their Instagram.

About the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program

The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program was established in 2014 to provide a framework within which eventing teams and individual competitors could flourish at universities and colleges across the country. The USEA offers a discount of $25 on annual USEA memberships for current students of universities and colleges registered as Affiliates with the USEA and many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges throughout the year, where collegiate eventers can compete individually as well as on teams with their fellow students.

In Intercollegiate Team Challenges, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level to account for differences in level difficulty and then the individual scores are added together to determine the team score. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score. Click here to learn more about the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

The USEA wants to feature your collegiate eventing team in our Intercollegiate Eventing Spotlight series! Please send your story and photos to Claire Kelley at [email protected] to be featured.

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