New Team Rides To Success

From Issue 5 (Feb. 2015)


January 9th , Prep’s equestrian team traveled to Clairmont Stables in Birmingham, Alabama to participate in the “Frost BIET Classic” show, hosted by the Birmingham Interscholastic Equestrian Team. The Prep team arrived in Birmingham on Friday, January 9th, and stayed for the two-day show through January 10th and 11th.  Prep competed against seven other teams, in all about 80 different riders. The other teams in zone four, coming from Alabama and Georgia, were from schools such as Saint James School in Montgomery, Alabama.

Birmingham Fost BIET 3015 292
L-R: Carol Currie, Mollie Jones, Hope Rae Sibley (non-Prep student), Hannah O’Brian, Darby Tipton, Sarah Riley Jicka, Coach Leah Mitchell. Not pictured but went to show: Madison McCreery and Claire Griffith

Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) shows are run with by a system called “catch riding”, which means the pairing of riders and horses are chosen at random when the day begins. Unless the rider draws a horse they are used to or familiar with, riders meet the horse drawn for them just before they get on. Before riders actually ride the horse that was chosen, they have an opportunity to watch the horse as it warms up.

As the riders watch, they evaluate the horse and look for things like slowness. If a rider notices that a horse is slower, they will know to keep the horse fast enough when they ride. Riders are judged by their skills in Hunt Seat Equitation in both over fences and on the flat. So, if the judge thinks that the horse is going too slow, points could be deducted. The number of points the riders accumulate for their team determines the winning teams.

Both days the team woke up bright and early, headed to the showground, and endured Saturday morning’s 12 degree wind chill factor, and the 32 degree Sunday morning of the overcast weekend. Though almost frozen, the Prep team did very well in the show. 10th grader Sarah Riley Jicka says, “The cold never bothered me anyway… as long as there were horses.” “This is quite an outstanding victory for a new team,” Coach Leah Mitchell says of the Junior High. “We are excited for all Prep team members who participated- some in their first horse show ever.” Each member of the team showed successfully and received ribbons. The team won 23 ribbons, taking the title of Reserve Champion overall.