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Equestrian Team

How the Shows Work

Interested in joining the Equestrian Team? Here’s what you should expect!

New team members are placed in an appropriate class based on the Team’s Coach Evaluation. The rider’s showing history and riding experience are considered, and the coach will have one riding session with the rider before a final placement is made. 

Riders accumulate points at each show depending on their placing. First place gets 7 points, second place gets 5 points, third gets 4 points, fourth gets 3 points, fifth gets 2 points, and sixth gets 1 point. When riders achieve 36 points, they move up one class for the next show and are automatically qualified for Regionals. All the hunter seat and western riders that qualify in a given year compete in the IHSA Regional Championships. The top three riders in each class from Regionals move on to the IHSA Zone Championships for Hunter Seat or the Semi-Finals for Western. The top two riders from each class at the Zone and Semi-Final Championships move on to compete at the IHSA National Championships. Points do carry over from the previous year - only the highest class’s (7 and up for English, 15 and up for Western) restart their points each year, but they only need 28 points to qualify for Regionals.

Riders in intercollegiate competition are assigned horses to compete by a random draw. They are allowed no warm up time in western and hunter seat competitions. Intercollegiate riding competition is very much like catch riding and riders must quickly get a feel for their unfamiliar mounts. Although all riders are important for the team’s success, only one rider per class counts toward the team’s total points for each show. Other riders in the class support the team by acting as defense riders. Their earned points will take away points from other teams. So large or small, all schools have an opportunity to place high.