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The University of Kentucky Equestrian Team is a nationally-competitive team affiliated with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). The IHSA format is unique because all different levels of riding are represented and participants do now show their own personal horses, but instead compete on horses provided by the various venues they compete at. The UK Equestrian Team welcomes all levels of riders, and all levels have the opportunity to compete in IHSA shows.
There are two disciplines that riders can choose from. The first is Western, where riders compete in horsemanship and reining. This team is coached by American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman of the Year and judge Bennie Sargent, who owns and operates Highpoint Equestrian Center in Georgetown, Ky. The second discipline is Hunt Seat, where riders may compete in either equitation on the flat or over fences. The Hunt Seat team is coached by Michelle Zimmer of Robert Murphy Stables in Lexington, Ky.
In recent years, the UK Equestrian Team has consistently been at the top of the IHSA standings. In 2008, the Hunt Seat team nabbed the title of IHSA National Champion. The team enjoyed continued national success at with a reserve championship title in 2009, third place finish overall in 2010, fifth place overall in 2011 and 8th place in 2012.
Frequently asked questions about UKET:
Q: How often are practices held?
A: IHSA requires team practices every week. These consist of group lessons of four or more riders. Each lesson is an hour long, and consists of tacking up the horses, warm up, jumping, cool down and un-tacking. The focus of every lesson is improving the equitation skills of each and every rider, no matter what horse they are sitting on. The lesson program is designed to prepare the team for the format of an IHSA show.
Q: How much are team dues?
A: Team dues are $425 per semester. This amount includes lessons and IHSA team dues. Show entry fees of $25 per class are not included in that figure.
Coaches: Hunt Seat, Michelle Zimmer, (859) 340-0262
Western, Bennie Sargent, (859) 361-5829
For more information about IHSA, visit www.ihsainc.com.