TCU Producing All-America Horses
July 26, 2013
Story by Courtney Motz, TCU Media Relations Intern
FORT WORTH, Texas - TCU equestrian has 40 horses who all have their own personality and characteristics. Some are nervous before competition, while others are laid-back and adjusted to tense atmospheres. Just like the riders, the horses have traveled to Fort Worth from all around the world, including countries like Holland and Sweden.
At the 2013 NCEA National Championships, TCU Hunt Seat had four horses compete in the final round of the championships in Waco. The final round is reserved for the most athletic horses in the country. TCU was the only school in the country to have more than two in the championship bracket. Having four horses in the final rounds speak to the amount of training that went into the horses over the season. The Hunt Seat fourth round horses were Ella, Cisco, Overtime, and Sam.
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association also honored TCU as having four of the top-10 horses in collegiate equestrian. Earning accolades in Equitation on the Flat were Ella and Cisco, respectively. The Horned Frogs were the lone school to have two horses ranked in the top-10 on the Flat.
On the Western side, Matt earned top-10 honors in Horsemanship, while Cash received accolades in Reining.
Similarly to the rider, horses have to be kept in perfect condition in order to compete successfully at their highest level. Western junior Katelyn Gray says, "it takes a lot of athleticism and physical conditioning for these horses to perform everyday at practice and competitions." The horse and rider require hours of training, practicing and conditioning every week to become more mentally and physically strong.
The TCU equestrian team knows their job is to make sure the horses are healthy and comfortable before leaving the barn. To stay healthy and fit, the horses need the same type of care any other athletes receive after working out. Some need to have their legs iced, while others require bandages. They need daily care to continue to compete and prevent injury.
Even the Associated Press has begun to recognize horses as athletes. In 2009, two horses were ranked in the top 10 of the AP Female Athlete of the Year rankings with the mare Zenyatta taking second-place accolades.
To some, a horse is viewed as just an animal, but to TCU equestrian, the horse is looked at as a teammate. When the horse and rider are able to work together and understand each other, they are successful. They are athletes that require respect, care and practice to help the rider succeed. Simply put, the horses are a vital teammate at TCU.