Equestrian team forms at Anna Maria

Anna Maria Equestrian
Horseback riders are in demand at Anna Maria College as the school’s first equestrian team will form this fall.

The driving force behind the decision to add this sport is Anna Maria’s assistant online director, Lorene Farrar.

Mrs. Farrar, who has worked at the college more than 20 years, fell in love with riding several years ago and began taking lessons at Becker College’s Equestrian Center in Paxton, taking advantage of the discounted rates offered through the Worcester consortium of colleges.

While she was aware of Becker’s equestrian team, Ms. Farrar said she was surprised to learn that other area colleges also had teams.

“I discovered that all these colleges had equestrian teams,” she recalled, going on to name Assumption College, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross and Worcester State University. “I thought, we need to do this at Anna Maria,” she said.

The idea was embraced by others on campus and finally got the approval of Anna Maria College President Mary Lou Retelle. The team will call Holiday Acres Equestrian Center in Rutland home, Ms. Farrar will be the program’s director and Geralyn Szczurko, competitive riding instructor at Holiday Acres, will serve as head coach.

That being said, there are still a lot of steps necessary to put together an equestrian team.

The first step is for students to join the riding club, and then those who are interested in competing may take the next step of trying out.

Ms. Szczurko hopes to hold tryouts before school starts, but doesn’t have a specific date yet.

Anna Maria plans to join the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and compete within its network.The IHSA promotes competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional, zone and national levels, according to its website.

Ms. Szczurko explained that in equestrian sports there is no Division 1 and Division 2 as in football, but rather it is just by region and zone. Anna Maria will compete against other New England colleges.

“We could potentially compete against a large team like UMass and then a smaller team,” she said.

Ten new applicants for this fall are interested in joining the riding club, Mrs. Farrar said.

“Hopefully, we’ll get a good team,” she said.

Anna Maria has a spacious campus. Could it one day have a barn and horses there?

“We’re excited for the start of our Equestrian Club and look forward to future days and growth of the program,” Ms. Farrar said.

Article Taken from: http://www.telegram.com/news/20180711/college-town-equestrian-team-forms-at-anna-maria
By Bonnie Russell / Telegram & Gazette Staff


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