UT Martin Skyhawk Equestrian Team2016/02/02
The UT Martin Skyhawk Equestrian Team finished the 2015 season in the top ten of the national rankings by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association poll. Now the team is ready to start the spring season, traveling to South Carolina for the first show on January 30. On February 12, they compete against Delaware State and against SMU on February 13, both on home turf. On March 4, Martin hosts a show for Minnesota-Crooks. Then in late March, 25 and 26, they travel to New Mexico State for two shows the first against Fresno State and the second against New Mexico State.
The 23 members of the team are all females, coached by Meghan Cunningham Corvin, head coach, and Kim Leiter, assistant coach. There are six freshmen, eight sophomores, four juniors, and five seniors on the team. UT Martin equestrian boasts the only NCAA equestrian program in the state of Tennessee. Equestrian events include Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat, Over Fences, Western Horsemanship and Reining.
But this NCAA status was almost lost. In October 2014 the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) recommended that Equestrian sports be removed from the list of emerging sports. Following this recommendation, the University of Tennessee at Martin announced a plan to make Women's Equestrian team a club sport, with 2015-16 being the final year of NCAA competition.
All that changed last summer when the NCAA decided against the CWA's recommendation and announced it would continue to support Women's Equestrian as an emerging sport for women. Following suit, UT Martin is recommitting to Women's Equestrian as a varsity sport. But help is needed to finance the varsity team.
Skyhawk equestrian has established a goal of $600,000 raised in cash by June 1, 2016. This would allow the equestrian program to remain as a varsity sport at UT Martin for 2016-17 and 2017-18. In addition to the $600,000, a campaign has also been launched to raise $6 million by June 1, 2018 in the form of an endowment that can sustain the program for years to come.
For more information on how to donate to UT Martin equestrian, visit http://www.utmforever.com/s/1341/utm/index.aspx?sid=1341&gid=5&pgid=7058
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To keep up with the UT Martin Equestrian Team, visit: http://www.utmsports.com/sport/equestrian and find them on facebook at UTM Equestrian. For more information on the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, visit: http://www.collegiateequestrian.com .