This past Sunday, the Carleton Equestrian team put on its annual Horses on the Bald Spot event (HOT BS), which publicizes the club’s activities and showcases the skills of its riders. The Equestrian team is a club sport at Carleton and its members practice between one and three times a week at a barn 20 minutes away. The team trains in the English style, the only style offered at the facility.
The distance from campus is a large part of the reason why the team organizes HOT BS, according to club officer Jenny Forster ’14. “A lot of people on campus don’t know too much about us, partly because we practice off campus. Horses on the Bald Spot is a way for us to showcase what we do.”
“Additionally, the event is a way for us to strengthen the relationships between the school, the team and the barn.”
The event also serves as a recruiting tool for Carleton Equestrian. After the 2011 event, the team attracted several new beginners, spurred by the promotion that HOT BS provided for the sport.
Carleton’s team competes regionally in IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association), where they show against larger, more established programs like Gustavus Aldophus College, UW-River Falls and UM-Crookston. Crookston has a dedicated program and on-campus facilities expressly built for the team.
“We don’t have a ton of resources, but do pretty well,” Forster said. In the fall, rider Clara Kappelman ’14 won the “high point” event, where the competitor who scores the highest average finish over the course of the competition wins. To further maximize resources, the team is considering merging with St. Olaf. Combining teams would allow them to place a rider in every event at competitions, which they currently cannot do because of limited numbers.
HOT BS consisted of riders, drawn at random from the team roster, performing jumping and a quadrille, a choreographed dressage performance featuring all four horses in the event. Afterwards, the horses and their riders stood outside the paddock, allowing spectators to feed and pet the horses. For some attendees, the chance to feed and pet a horse was the highlight of the event.
“It’s cool to see people interact with horses who don’t normally interact with them,” Forster said.
Overall, the event was well received. “My only criticism of Horses on the Bald Spot is that I wish it had been longer,” said attendee Tyler Schuetz ’13. “Otherwise, it was really fun watching and supporting my friend Anna Steedman ’13.”
For more information about Carleton Equestrian, contact Rosie Schairer (president) or Caroline Scheevel (Vice President).