Equestrian for women is recognized as an emerging sport for NCAA Divisions I and II.
"Equestrian to remain as emerging sport" NCAA News March 2010
Information Related To Adding the Sport
- Varsity Equestrian information: http://www.varsityequestrian.com/propspectiveuniversities.html
- Level of Participation (high school/college): Twenty-four Division I and II varsity programs are reported in the NCAA and the International Horse Show Association (IHSA) reports over 300 collegiate members.
- Number of Student-Athletes Needed: The number of riders participating in tryouts ranges from 5 to 120 with an average of 40 athletes.
- Estimated Start-Up Costs: Equestrian ranks among the least expensive sports at $3-7,000 per student athlete. Total operating expenses range from $100,000-450,000.
- Equipment Needed: Horses: In most cases, programs have met their horse needs through individual donations to the animal science, athletic or university foundation and/or from a pre-existing club team. Some programs choose to lease or borrow horses instead of owning.
- Facilities Necessary: Institutions with existing equine and/or animal science departments will typically already have facilities on campus. However, the minimal requirements for any program are: riding area, jumps, stalls/paddocks for horses, tack (saddle, bridle, etc.) and storage. Generally, facilities will be the largest part of the budget for an equestrian program. Southern Methodist pays one flat fee per year and the facility provides horse, practice facilities, tack, vet services and feed. Others, such as Kansas State and the University of South Carolina lease a privately owned stable.
- Number of Coaches Needed: Currently, NCAA allows each program to have one head coach and two assistant coaches. Most programs have at least 2 full time coaches.
- Typical Season (dates, duration): The length of an institution's playing season in equestrian shall be limited to a 144-day season, which may consist of two segments (each consisting of consecutive days) and which may exclude only required off days and official vacation, holiday and final-examination periods during which no practice or competition shall occur. Practice cannot begin before September 7 or the first day of classes.
- Remarks: Athletes, coaches and fans enjoy the flexibility of equestrian. Teams compete head to head or in a tournament style format. Each team is required to ride the same horse and judges’ scores are compared across horses. The host school provides the horses and tack at each competition, so hauling horses is not required. The format includes hunt seat equitation on the flat and over fences, western horsemanship and reining. A university may choose to offer only English or western based on the student body’s interest.
Legislative Updates: No updates at this time.