Does the University of Oregon Have an Equestrian Team?

OregonReigns Editorials

As the equine industry grows, we are seeing many universities offering Equine programs where students can learn more about the different disciplines that involve horses. We’ve been around horses for thousands of years, and during this time our interaction with these beloved animals has grown stronger and stronger.

We might not use horses for transportation anymore, but the equine industry is massive. We are talking about a $300 billion industry, that involves dressage, training, care, horse racing, veterinarians, and much more. Just take a look at the statistics, in the UK there are close to 400,000 horse-owning households, and in the United States, the equine industry has a bigger economic impact than the motion picture industry.

Obviously, we are talking about something big, which is why many universities have developed their own unique equine programs, where they teach students about how to enter and succeed in the equine industry.

Some of them even have their own Equestrian Teams, that compete in various championships all around the world. In this case, we have the University of Oregon, which is a common choice among people who go for equine studies.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is located in Eugene, and it is a prestigious public research university often praised for its academic excellence. They also have a vibrant campus life, and strong athletic programs, which makes it the perfect university for having equestrian teams.

University of Oregon Campus. (Screenshot from CampusMania Video)

The university was founded in 1876, and over the years it has grown into a renowned institution with a diverse student body and many different academic offerings centered around the equine industry.

The campus is located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, and it is surrounded by greenery and a vibrant cultural scene. This university features some of the top programs in different fields like law, education, and equestrian activities.

A Glimpse Into Oregon’s Athletic Landscape

Since we are talking about athletic activities, we have to mention their athletic teams that go by the name Oregon Ducks. We’ve seen huge success in different fields such as football, basketball, and even equine sports, which adds to the school’s rich legacy.

The University of Oregon is indeed renowned for its sports programs, with a rich history in football, basketball, and track and field. Ducks fans proudly don their green and yellow, cheering on their teams to victory. However, amidst the roar of the crowds and the adrenaline of competitive sports, where does equestrianism fit in?

Unraveling the Equine Connection

Equestrian sports encompass a wide range of disciplines, from show jumping and dressage to rodeo events. Many universities across the United States have embraced these disciplines, adding equestrian teams to their roster of athletic offerings. But what about the University of Oregon?

The UO Equestrian Team has done some winning! (Photo from Oregon Equestrian team website)

University of Oregon Equestrian Team

The University of Oregon Club Equestrian team, consisting of thirty-three women and one guy, has risen from a small eight members to a formidable thirty-four in just two years. The team is aiming to compete at the national level.

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association offers competitors like UO Club Equestrian a distinctive learning and development opportunity. More than 8,000 riders and more than 400 teams make up the IHSA, which advocates for equal opportunities in a sport that has traditionally benefited the rich. The IHSA has unique competition regulations in an effort to fulfill its purpose of providing opportunities for riders from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Instead of bringing a horse that is privately owned to the competition, riders arrive at the showground and select an animal right away from the collection of horses that the community has donated. The concept of random horse-rider pairings requires that riders be evaluated exclusively based on their performance in the arena, not on the history or training of their horse. This not only levels the playing field but also pushes riders to develop their whole selves and strengthens links between local communities and university teams.

You don’t get to research and pick your own horse, which will be considered cheating. It’s quite different than the top horses at big events like the Preakness Stakes, but it all makes sense. If you want to check out the top horses to watch at the Preakness Stakes, check out this link to learn more.

Both English and Western riding styles are available at IHSA. English riders can participate in the flat and fences classes in hunt seat equitation, a traditional riding style rooted in fox hunting traditions. Western riders are able to participate in reigning and Western horsemanship. There are different equine programs centered around different horse-riding disciplines that range from beginners to professionals.

Fellow Oregon competitors appreciate each other! (Screenshot from Oregon Equestrian Team Video)

At the age of seven, Katy George, a 2013 graduate of the Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, experienced her first horseback ride. At the age of fifteen, she started competing seriously and rode for the university’s equestrian team. Now that IHSA has special rules enabling graduates to compete, George is still active in UO Club Equestrian.

As of right now, the team—the first at the university to claim a rider in every class—is chasing Western Washington University, who they presently trail by less than twenty points. This is a new sport to follow at Oregon, so let’s Go Ducks!

Lakeside, Oregon
Screenshot from Oregon Equestrian Team Video

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