Equestrian team wraps up successful first half of season

Molly Ryan

Molly Ryan

Coaches Megan McGee and Joe Humphrey led the equestrian team in one of the most successful season starts to date for SDSU equestrian, as well as in starting a new partnership with the Brookings Humane Society.

With more than 40 horses and 42 members, the equestrian team is the second largest women’s team SDSU has to offer, after women’s track and field.

The team also gained two graduate students to the staff this year.

Whitney Snyder, the equestrian team’s graduate assistant, was a member of Kansas State’s varsity equestrian team for four years, receiving many MVP scores.

Snyder has helped coach the hunt seat team under McGee this season.

“We have a wonderful young group of ladies and I truly enjoy working with them, said Snyder. “It has been a great experience and opportunity to be able to work with coach McGee and coach Humphrey within the SDSU equestrian program.”

Tonna Brooks has taken the position as director of operations.

Brooks was also a top competitor at both Texas A&M University and New Mexico State University.

The team opened the 2009 season with wins over varsity teams Texas Christian and Delaware State. This was the first home competition held in the new DeHaan Equestrian Center.

In October, four riders from the hunt seat team traveled to Madison, Wis. and brought home six top three finishes and one first-place finish.

In River Falls, Wis., Western riders earned grand champion honors and five first-place titles.

Wrapping up October, the SDSU Western team won high-point team honors and five first-place titles during the home invitational at the Swiftel Center in Brookings.

SDSU hunt seat riders succeeded with nine first-place individual titles, as well as Reserve High-Point Team on both days of the SDSU Invitational.

In Crookston, Minn., the SDSU hunt seat riders brought home the team championship and seven individual wins over the competition.

SDSU tied in reining with Texas A&M University during their head-to-head varsity show in November.

The Western team ended the semester at Crookston, Minn., with seven wins and reserve high point team honors.

“It has been really great to see how much our team progresses each year,” junior Ashley Marrin said.

Western riders will start off the spring semester competitions on Feb. 6-7 at North Dakota State, while hunt seat will compete at Wisconsin-River Falls on Feb. 13-14, to start their semester of competitions.