Nazareth College Equestrian Team
The Nazareth College Equestrian Team competes under the aegis of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, a nationally recognized organization. The IHSA promotes competition for riders of any skill level through individual and team competitions at regional and national levels. IHSA competitions develop sportsmanship, team enthusiasm, and horsemanship. Nazareth’s team competes against teams from other colleges in the upstate New York region, including Cazenovia, St. Lawrence, and Rochester Institute of Technology.
In addition to roughly eight IHSA shows annually, team members participate in weekly lessons and team meetings, at which they attend to team business and learn about stable management and horse care. They are involved in volunteer activities throughout the year, many involving therapeutic riding programs for those with disabilities. The team also fundraises actively to pay for team apparel and other costs involved in riding and showing.
Students compete at a variety of levels designed to showcase their skills and their ability to work together with their horse. Beginning riders, for example, show at the walk/trot equitation level. At this level, they must demonstrate control of the horse at the walk and the trot. More experienced riders show over fences, demonstrating their ability to guide their horses over courses of jumps set at varying heights.
The team was founded in 2000 by Nazareth student Nina Malatesta ’04, a life-long horsewoman who wanted to share her love of horses with others. Team size generally is 20 to 30 riders, who range from experienced to beginner riders. Equestrian became a varsity sport in 2002, joining the college’s 20 other varsity teams, including lacrosse, soccer, basketball, golf, and tennis. Coached by Terese Bouchard, the team rides at Huntington Meadow Stables. The team is also guided by assistant coach, Jennifer Page, who is a graduate of Cazenovia College.