By Desmond Ford
For the past five years, the Youngstown State University Equestrian Club has been making a name for itself.
The team has been to several national stages, and on March 20 its members were the youngest competing in the semi-final at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association in Logan, Utah.
YSU placed seventh as a team and one member, Emily Bevan, qualified for nationals after placing third in the competition.
Bevan, a senior business administration major, will compete at nationals in Syracuse, New York, on May 2-5, 2020. Bevan said she values being apart of the club.
“Being a part of the equestrian club is a once in a lifetime experience. This is not only a team with other members, but we also have our four-legged teammates,” she said.
Bevan has been apart of the club for two years, and said she works hard to do her best at each competition, including mental and physical preparations.
“To prepare for an event, I attend my weekly practice, go to the gym, get good night sleep, practice and read through my patterns,” Bevan said.
Samantha Morris, a freshman pre-nursing major, said the club has been her favorite part about attending YSU.
“I absolutely love being part of this club. It offers a lot of great opportunities,” Morris said.
Morris said being apart of the club also helps her utilize athletic strengths she didn’t realize she had. Initially, she said she didn’t have the experience of riding a horse, but gained knowledge over time.
“I came into the club having never ridden a horse before, and now I have had the amazing experience of competing at a nationwide level,” she said. “I truly do see this club continuing to make a name for YSU on the national level.”
Amy Watkins, coach of the club, said since she started the club, it has had challenges with recruiting students and financing.
To keep up on the equestrian team, visit the team’s Facebook and Instagram pages or email the club at [email protected] for any questions.