THE UNIVERSIty of Richmond equestrian team
The University of Richmond Equestrian Team is an integral part of every team member's experience at the university. The team acts as an outlet for its members by uniting students of varied interests with a common passion for riding. Members of URET are expected to uphold the University of Richmond's honor code in all of their endeavors, both academically and in how they represent the university when competing and practicing.
The team competes out of Haverhill Equestrian, in Manakin-Sabot, VA, which is just a short drive from campus. Show team members are coached by Jessica Straus and Natalie Shinnamon. Jessica Straus is a USHJA Certified Trainer, as well as a graduate of Christopher Newport University, where she was president of the Captain's Equestrian Team for two years and vice president for two years. Natalie Shinnamon is an ARIA Certified Trainer who competed for Virginia Intermont College, and she has been coaching URET since the fall of 2011.
Show team members compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) against other members of Zone IV Region 4. IHSA shows are run by the host team and the host barn's horses are those used in the show. The mount for each rider is determined randomly at the start of each show. Riders of all skill levels are accommodated in the IHSA as there are divisions ranging from "Walk/Trot" to "Open Over Fences". Show team members that will compete in an upcoming show are selected by the coaches in the weeks prior to each show.
Even though URET competes against schools with NCAA programs, the University of Richmond Equestrian Team has been extremely successful in Zone IV Region 4. During the 2015-2016 season, the team set a new school record by finishing the season as Reserve High Point Team and Senior member, Reilly Cookingham was awarded the Reserve High Point Rider honor for Zone IV Region 4. For three seasons in a row, URET has sent one or two riders to compete at IHSA Zones, and each year one rider has advanced to IHSA Nationals.