Sitting Down With Coach Gary Reynolds

June 29, 2009

FORT WORTH, Texas - recently caught up with equestrian head coach Gary Reynolds to get his thoughts on the equestrian program heading into the 2009 school year.

This past spring, TCU's western team collected second-place honors at nationals, while Carrie von Uhlit was crowned the 2009 Varsity Equestrian Reining Individual Champion.

How do you think this season went overall?
"This was a great season. Most teams would love to have the record our western team had last year, even though we did not win the championship, but it was still a spectacular season. The hunt seat team has really come a long way. We will be looking for more from them in the future. There is a group of them that are going to be junior's next year, so I expect them to provide the leadership and points early that we need on that side."

How proud were you of the fact that you had both your western and hunt seat teams at the National Championships this year?
"Having both of our teams make nationals this year was incredible. It was amazing to go from taking eight girls to the Varsity Equestrian National Championships to taking 20. It was a huge change, but it gave everybody some great experience for next season."

What was going through your head when Carrie von Uhlit won a National Championship?
"Carrie von Uhlit winning the national championship was incredible. We were extremely tight on time with having to compete for the team championship as well as the individual championship, so I did not get to spend as much time with her warm up, but she is such a great competitor. I have stood so many times and had to depend on Carrie to pull together a win to bring home a victory for the team. It has almost been just the natural procedure, Carrie and I getting ready for that last ride of the day. I was so happy for her and for the team as well."

What does Carrie winning a National Championship do for your program?
"Carrie winning the National Championship gives us more credibility as a great team. It was a huge success for a third year program."

Courtney Chown had a great showing at nationals, talk a little bit about her development this year?
"Courtney has so much talent and experience even at a young age. We just had to get her some experience at riding strange horses and tweak a few minor things. She is one of the fiercest competitors and has been a fantastic addition to the team. She will be a huge part of this team for the future."

What will be your biggest memory from this year's squad?
"Probably the UGA game during the semifinal round would be my biggest memory. Georgia has been such a rival for us and they are great competitors. We were down 3-1 after reining and Kelsey Huffman defeated last year's National Champion Sara Locker to earn our only point in the event. We had to sit on that 3-1 deficit overnight, but we came back in the morning and went 3-1 in horsemanship to send us into the tiebreaker, which we won to put us into the finals. It was a nail biter from start to finish."

"I also have to include the hunt seat team defeating a great Fresno team at nationals. I struggled with every one of them during each equitation on the flat ride as we ended up losing that match in a tiebreaker. Milana Trimino was our last rider and she had the flu and could barely stand much less walk, yet she had a fantastic ride, falling a few points short of winning her ride."



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