Local Sports

October 9, 2013

Local equestrians changing face of sport


Horseback riding is normally reserved for the financial and social elite, for those who can afford thousands of dollars for a horse, boarding, lessons, and travel expenses.

But the group of kids training out at LNJ Ranch Tuesday evening, about halfway between Duncan and Lawton, don't really fit into that mold. Yet, there they sit, trotting, cantering, and jumping as a team two nights a week with hopes of competing against the best riders in the nation. Thanks to the newly formed chapter of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association -- the first such organization in the state -- the riders are jumping over physical barriers along with social ones.

“It gives me the opportunity to ride with others who like equestrian sport around the nation,” Kaitlyn Verser, a sophomore at Chickasha High School, said. 

Tuesday night was the group's first training session together, with members of the high school and middle school teams present. Ranch owner Laura Armstrong is the team coach, or trainer, as they head toward their first team competition on Nov. 16 in Arkansas.

“Not everybody has the luxury of a million dollar horse," Armstrong said. "You don’t have to be a millionaire to do it.”

All it takes to be part of an IEA team is a $175 team fee, $45 per rider fee, and the time and money to attend training sessions and competitions, which can still run in the thousands. Still, IEAs eliminate the biggest expense: the horse.

When the students compete, they draw from a group of provided horses that are classified for the riders' skill level. There is no need for students or their families to cart their own horse around the region; however, this does require riders to get to know their horse in a matter of minutes before heading out into the arena.

Text Only
Local Sports
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction

Do you think our cool summer means we will have a rough winter?

     View Results