By: Meghan Daniel, contributing writer
On Thursday, Sept. 14, members of the Wofford Equestrian Team pulled on their riding boots, packed up their helmets and made the short drive over to Motlow Creek Equestrian Center. Nestled in the mountains of nearby Campobello, S.C., Motlow Creek is home to over 20 horses and now also proudly claims to be the home of the Wofford College Equestrian Team.
The Wofford Equestrian Team arrived at Motlow Creek eager to explore their new riding facility and to meet their new coaches. They were greeted first by the barn owner, Sally Frick, and then by their new coaches, Ashley Conkle and Merimac Dunbar. After a quick introduction to the property, horses and barn staff, members of the team tacked up their respective horses (or ponies) and rode into the ring for a team flat lesson.
Members of the team, ranging in experience from green riders to lifelong equestrians, walked, trotted and cantered around the ring during the team’s group lesson. This was great practice for the flat classes that many of the riders will compete in at shows throughout the season. After an hour on horseback the riders dismounted, untacked and rinsed off their horses, and then turned their trusty steeds out to their respective pastures and stalls.
However, the fun did not end when the horses were put away. After washing up, the team gathered outside the barn to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Frick. During dinner, new and old team members got to know each other better and bonded with their new coaches and barn family. The group discussed plans for the ’17-’18 show season and buzzed with excitement concerning the show that Wofford will host at Motlow Creek Equestrian Center in February.
Since their first team lesson, Wofford College Equestrian Team members have been training individually with coaches Conkle and Dunbar each week to prepare for their show at USC on Oct. 14-15. To see results from the match, check the Wofford College IHSA Equestrian Team Facebook page.
The team, now going on year 5 at Wofford, hopes to see a steady increase in both their presence on the Wofford campus and their level of competitiveness within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).