On Sept. 22, West Texas A&M University hosted the first Western Horse Show of the year at the WT Equestrian Center. The first show started at 8:00 a.m. with the second show following at 2:00 p.m. Schools that competed were North Central Texas College, The University of Oklahoma Equestrian, Redlands Community College, Southern Nazarene University, the Texas Tech Equestrian Team, and WT.
Julia Roberts received first place for Open Horsemanship A while Sammi Gallagher settled for third. In Advanced Horsemanship, Mallory Stimson grasped second place as Emily Almquist took first in Beginner Horsemanship.
The second show brought in more first place winners for Anna Copple in Novice Horsemanship and Angela Bradley Intermediate II Horsemanship.
The University was High Point Team for both contests. Julia Roberts received High Point Rider and Sammi Gallagher was Reserve High Point Rider.
Even though the event is primarily an individual contest, companionship and team unity is valued by the girls.
“We rely a lot on our teammates,” Sage Hanner, senior Ag. Business major, said.
Whether it’s giving each other tips and pointers or just the support of a friend, the team is always there for one another.
“Without your team, you could just fall apart,” Rebecca Alden, a sophomore transfer student from Mesa Land Community College, said.
An equal amount of dedication among members of the team is important according to Jessica Read, a senior Equine major.
“There are 36 girls on this team that are all as equally dedicated as the next girl,” Read said.
Not only do the girls practice once or twice a day, they make trips to the gym multiple times a week to keep a fit and strong body.
“We hit the gym almost every day. We have to stay fit to be able to ride to our full potential,” Hanner said.