Hold your horses and listen up. That thundering sound was the Crimson Storm Riders galloping in with some top-ten placings on Saturday, October 7th, and Sunday the 8th.
The Crimson Storm Riders are SNU’s equestrian team. SNU has an Equestrian Center where the horses are kept and the team trains. The two competition styles are Western and English. The Western style has a cowboy-style uniform and a large, heavy saddle with a saddle horn. The English style has an English uniform and a small, light hunt seat saddle.
When competing, the events change day-to-day for the competitors with two possible events: On the Rail and Pattern. On the Rail means all of the competitors in a division would be in the arena at the same time. The competitors ride around in circles as the judge calls out instructions. Pattern, on the other hand, is where the instructions are posted at the beginning of the day. The competitors must memorize the instructions and perform them when it is their time.
Bethany Crouch, Co-Captain on the Equestrian Team, took first place on Saturday, October 7th, and fifth place on Sunday. Crouch had been moved up a division on Day 2 because of her increase in experience and her performance on Day 1. As a whole, the team did well, but the competitions are individually judged. When asked about the team dynamics, Crouch stated “We are just a group of friends that goof off with each other.” She continued, “It is not like you have to treat the others on the team differently because of riding experience. I had almost no experience before this so I know what it is like to be a newbie. Even if you are the most experienced rider in the world, with how our competitions work, you might just randomly get a really bad horse. So you might get last place because you got a bad horse. It kinda levels the playing field.” The team works really hard and is sometimes overlooked as an SNU sport.
Crouch praises the SNU equestrian team in comparison with other schools saying, “If anyone is interested in doing anything with horses in the future, SNU provides the best opportunities to do that with the minimal amount of cost.” If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about the SNU equestrian team please visit the SNU athletics website here or the equestrian page here. Even if you have little to no experience with horses, please feel free to look into and support the Crimson Storm Riders!
Photo by SNU Creative