The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Saddle up: a look at Clemson’s Equestrian club

The Clemson University Equestrian Team is a club team comprised of around 50-60 members. The club is divided into three sections: Hunt Seat, Western and non-riding. Rebecca Shirley coaches the Western team and Jamie Grant-Rowland coaches the Hunt Seat team. 

Both riding teams practice biweekly at the Clemson University Equestrian Center. They compete in regional and local competitions 16 times a year. Team members ride different horses each week to prepare for competitions in which they ride an unknown horse, often one they have never competed on before. The school hosting the show provides the horses that the team will compete on.

Ceilidh Knudson, a senior animal science major and CUEC president, said, “To prepare us our coaches have us ride different horses every week in our lessons…you have to be flexible and able to adjust to whatever you’re on that way you can always ride to the best of your abilities. It can be fun that way [competing on a strange horse] it keeps everyone on their toes a little bit and it can even the playing field…it shows who can really ride the best.”

The team’s riding herd is comprised of about 35 horses, all of which are housed at the Clemson University Equine Center. The majority of the horses at the Equestrian Center are for team use. These horses are either owned by the coaches or staff, on lease to the team or donated to the Equestrian Center. 

Equestrian sports are not typically team sports. Knudson said, “I like it because for most people who have done Equestrian sports their whole life it isn’t a team setting so it’s refreshing going to college and being on a team sport and not competing just for yourself. You get a community of people who want to do the same thing and it keeps everyone riding for the same reasons.” 

The Western team just qualified to as a team for semi-finals and will be competing in Ohio on March 19 and 20. 

“It’s a really supportive community and even if we’re all riding in the same division we’re happy if we all get first, second and third, together it doesn’t matter who places…it’s a lot more supportive than what you would get out of the regular equestrian community,” Rachel Wright, a sophomore animal science major and future CUEC president, said. “We all get along really well we’re more friends than team mates.”

The team is funded through CUSG club sports — like any other Clemson club sport — but the horses, equipment and coaching are funded through donations and the Equestrian Center, who front the costs for the team. 

CUET also fundraises throughout the year to support the team. Local and community sponsors advertise at the shows, CUEC also puts on bake sales downtown and fundraises through selling merchandise. 

CUET is hosting an alumni horse show fundraiser where anyone who rides and is an alumnus of the school can come compete at the Clemson University Equestrian Center on Sunday, April 10, at 9 a.m. 

More information about the show can be found online at 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *