WWU Hunter/Jumper Team hosts annual derby

Speed and endurance are expected from both riders
and horses in the upcoming Hunter Jumper Derby, scheduled for Oct. 6 in the
outdoor equestrian arena at William Woods University.

 

Alex Clark, a freshman equestrian science major
from St. Johns, Fla., will enter Chester, a WWU-owned horse, in the derby to
try something fun and new and to ride the “adorable little horse.”

 

Different classes for various skill and height
levels will be offered, giving many equestrians the opportunity to compete.

 

“I compete to get more show experience for me and
the horses,” Stephanie Koerner, a junior equine administration major from Kankakee,
Ill., said. She will show Echo, another WWU-owned horse, for the second time in
the derby.

 

Due to safety issues and students not getting the
chance to practice on the outdoor cross country course, the derby has been
moved to the outdoor equestrian arena. Attendance is expected to drop because
of the move, but faculty members still expect plenty of competitors.

 

“Past competitors have been here since the word ‘go’,” Bonnie Carr, academic adviser, said.

The derby was started by Linda McClaren,
professor of equestrian studies, 16 years ago when she and others recognized
the opportunity for the riders to have fun while riding and competing outdoors.
The funds have since been used to pay for students to attend upcoming shows and
host hunter jumper clinics, including a three-day clinic Nov. 2-4.

 

“I’m very excited for the derby,” Rachel Ostrem,
a freshman from Radcliffe,
Iowa, said. “It will be my first show at The Woods
and having instruction here has really helped me.”

 

Fees for the event include a $5 office fee, an
optional $5 warm-up fee and $10 fee per class. Riders of all skill levels are
encouraged to participate and onlookers are always welcome.

 

“The best part of
the derby,” Koerner said, “is having a fun, easy-going showing experience with
friends.”

CUTLINE: A WWU student, Hannah Podgorski, practices
jumping with Double Shot
Espresso in the outdoor arena on campus.