The Virginia Tech Equestrian Club in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has received approval to join the Department of Recreational Sports’ Extramural Sports Club Federation beginning this fall.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Equestrian Club as the 29th member of the Extramural Sports Club Federation. They are a very well-run and well-respected club, both within the university as well as throughout the East Coast,” said Alan Glick, assistant director of recreational sports. “They have strong faculty advising from the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, and we look forward to working with the club’s student leaders and with their faculty advisors.”

“Having the Equestrian Club become part of the Sports Club Federation is a wonderful opportunity for the club,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The additional resources and support will allow the students to achieve their goals and gain much deserved recognition.”

Sport clubs compete against other colleges and universities, but are not scholarship-based and are not a part of the NCAA. The Department of Recreational Sports supports the clubs and club officers determine practices and games. Clubs are chosen to join the Sports Club Federation based on the club’s longevity at Virginia Tech and its success at a regional and national level.

“The biggest advantage of being part of the Sports Club Federation is the availability of services and resources that club members can utilize to help them become better athletes as well as better leaders,” explained Teresa McDonald, advisor for the Equestrian Club.

Club members will receive guidance and assistance with travel, fundraising, promotions, and training. All team practices, competitions, and fundraising are managed by club officers. Although the club will receive some funding from the Department of Recreational Sports, the club will still rely on outside funds provided through donations and sponsorships to support travel to the shows.

“I’m a senior and I remember meeting with rec sports my freshman year about becoming a club sport. It was a big goal for us to become part of the Sports Club Federation,” said Susan Wilson, hunter team captain and club vice-president. “It is great to receive this recognition and support from Virginia Tech.”

The Equestrian Club has a long and distinguished history at Virginia Tech. The club was founded nearly 30 years ago and members have been competing in horse shows ever since. Virginia Tech began offering equestrian instruction off campus in the late 1960s until bringing the equitation classes on to campus in 1994.

Club members compete at intercollegiate horse shows throughout the country, as well as organize equine related activities such as horse shows and clinics. In addition, the club provides members a forum to exchange and gain information about equine topics though guest speakers, trips, and fundraising events such as open horse shows held on campus.

The club has approximately 80 members who compete on three equestrian teams, including hunter, dressage, and western. These teams compete through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association.

For more information about club membership and team tryouts, visit its website.

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