Students and their horses participated in barrel and pole racing events a horse competition last Saturday. Administrators and students in the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science launched the Equine Association, a new competitive program.
Veronica Shaeffer, Rhoden Farm manager, said she has always had a desire to create a program in which students and their horses can compete.
“I decided to take the initiative of forming such a club and help to fuel the passion that engulfed so many students,” said Shaeffer. “There was a lot of interest with students in the AES department to form some type of club whose focus would be, specifically, learning more about them, riding them and ultimately competing with them.”
The club was formed by Shaeffer and Brianna Hurst, sophomore animal science major from Fort Worth.
Mary Kittrell, senior animal science major from Austin, works at Rhoden Farm setting up and taking down trailers for the farm horses. Recently, she was given the task of driving the horse truck and trailer to and from the club’s events.
“Since this was our first competition, we were nowhere near the best out there because there were people who actually had barrel horses and had been doing this stuff for a long time,” said Kittrell. “Our horses aren’t quite on that caliber, but we weren’t really too competitive in the first place.”
Rhodes Farm is eight miles east of campus, just off of Highway 351. Shaeffer said any students with a horse are welcome to board their horse there. A discount is available to any students who participate in the club competitions.
“There is so much potential for what this could evolve into,” said Shaeffer. “We have a great foundation for something that has the potential to grow miles and miles.”