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Varsity Equestrian

• Visit the official website of NCAA Varsity Equestrian

K-State Equestrian: Back-to-back Reserve National Champions

In 1998, equestrian was classified as an NCAA emerging sport. Currently 23 Division I and II universities, including four Big 12 schools, sponsor the sport at the varsity level, and more continue to add the program to their athletic department each year. For the most current list of equestrian programs or more information on Varsity Equestrian, please visit varsityequestrian.com.

Competitions will be based on a win/loss record point system. When two riders compete on the same horse, the rider with the highest score will receive 1 point for their team. In each event, a minimum of four athletes will compete for each team. Each rider entered from each team shall ride the same test on the same set of horses that was decided during the draw unless a substitution or alternate is approved.

In head to head equestrian competition, there are two disciplines, Hunter Seat and Western with four events; Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat and over Fences, and Western Horsemanship and Reining. Hunter Seat riders are scored on a scale of 0-100. In Equitation over Fences, a 70 would be considered an average ride. Equitation on the Flat tests consist of nine maneuvers and one collective mark. Each element receives a score of 0-10 from the judge and a mark of five is considered average. Western riders start with a score of 70 and can be rewarded or penalized points based on the quality of their maneuvers. Maneuver scores are awarded from +1.5 to -1.5 with a 0 considered average. Horsemanship patterns consist of 7-9 maneuvers and Reining patterns patterns have 7-8 maneuvers. Each rider will also be awarded a collective mark.


Because Varsity Equestrian features two unique disciplines, there are three team titles up for grabs each year at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships: Hunter Seat, Western, and Overall Team. 2008 was the first year to also feature an individual championship given to one Equitation on the Flat, Equitation over Fences, Horsemanship and Reining rider. Beginning in 2010, the Individual competition was replaced by the naming of All Americans based on athletes statistics throughout the season.

The Championships feature 12 Hunter Seat and 12 Western teams, though a school must have both disciplines represented to be considered for Overall Team Champion. Teams are invited and ranked by a selection committee that chooses the teams based on strength of competition schedule and record throughout the regular season. Based on rankings assigned by the selection committee, teams are placed in brackets to compete tournament style in four rounds of competition, until the champions are crowned.