William Woods University held its annual Equestrian Academic Showcase Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 1-2), featuring clinics with both celebrated WWU graduate and hunt seat trainer, Kris Killam, and renowned saddle seat trainer, Paul Boone.
The showcase is an annual event designed to allow prospective equestrian students a chance to view WWU horses and riders in action, and learn what William Woods has to offer them.
Saturday began with equestrian events that included an introduction to the equestrian studies (EQS) division, barn tours, a parade of disciplines and a presentation on EQS scholarship opportunities.
Break-out sessions were offered with the four riding seats—western, saddle seat, hunter/jumper and dressage. During these sessions, students and parents got a change to ask questions of equestrian faculty and students. There were also separate question and answer sessions about the EQS division in general and EQS division alumni speakers.
Featured clinician, Kris Killam, spoke on Saturday about career opportunities in the equine world and conducted a clinic on Sunday. Killam graduated from the WWU equestrian program in 2002, and has since become a well-respected trainer and rider in the hunt seat industry. He has attained an impressive series of wins in show jumping competitions, from Wellington, Fla., throughout the Midwest and Canada. He is an instructor at Colby Creek Stables in Ithaca, Neb.
The saddle seat clinic was conducted by Paul Boone, trainer at Boones Farm and Stables in Concord, N.C. A long-standing member of the American Saddlebred community, Boone has trained many world champions, including the five-gaited sensation, (SA) Carswald Prince’s Domino.
Boone has many ties to William Woods: he instructed rider Ashley Eisenhower, who later became a student at WWU, and now works as a professional in the Saddlebred industry. William Woods graduate, Lynn McCallister, worked for Boone before starting her own barn, and current student Jesse West spent a summer under his tutelage as well. Another graduate, Cydney Cutchall, works for him currently.
William Woods University, in 1972, was the first school in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in equestrian science. A degree in equine administration was added in 1992.
The university has a reputation for providing one of the finest equestrian studies programs in the country—filling a national, regional and local demand for graduates holding a four-year equestrian science degree.
This demand is heightened by a thriving equine industry that contributes about $112 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product each year.
The university’s equestrian facilities encompass a city block, with 150 large box stalls in four stables, two heated indoor arenas, a lighted outdoor ring and a 40-acre cross-country riding course.
The equestrian studies program is the most popular field of study at William Woods There are currently 158 equestrian science majors and 45 equine administration majors. The placement rate for WWU equestrian graduates is nearly 100 percent.
Breeds represented in the William Woods stable include American Saddlebreds, Appaloosas, Arabians, Morgans, National Show Horses, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Friesians and Warmbloods.
Prospective students unable to attend the Equestrian Academic Showcase should contact the WWU Office of Admissions to arrange another time to visit campus. Call (573) 592-4221 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kris Killam, William Woods University graduate and well-respected trainer and rider in the hunt seat industry, conducts a clinic at his alma mater.
Betsy and Paul Boone of Boones Farm and Stables in Concord, N.C., address prospective equestrian students at William Woods.
Marissa Parenti of Hooksett, N.H., prepares Sandbox Captain to represent the Arabians in the Parade of Disciplines at William Woods University.
Candice Boehm of Tehachapi, Calif., sits aboard Prince, awaiting the Parade of Disciplines at William Woods University.