St. Andrews Equestrian Turns 50!

St. Andrews Equestrian Program turns 50 in 2019! The first horse came to campus in 1969 and there has been an equine presence either on campus or on property owned or leased by the university since that date.

The Equestrian Program is looking for a creative, innovative and professional logo to use throughout the anniversary year.

The contest begins on November, 10 2018. Submissions will be accepted through December 10, 2018.

Prize – Contest winner will receive a solid wood grooming tote (and bragging rights!).

For contest rules and information Click Here.The Equestrian Program is looking for a creative, innovative and professional logo to use throughout the anniversary year.


Equestrian Program Hosts Catch Up Shows – Western Team Remains Strong

The St. Andrews IHSA Western Team rallied this weekend to take the regional lead with 93 points, 10 points ahead of second place Virginia Tech. “Appreciate ALL the teams helping the Western Team stay ahead in points and to be successful this fall season!” said Coach Carla Wennberg in an email to Equestrian Team members. Wennberg finished by saying, “It takes a village to host and perform with success! It takes great leadership.”

The shows this weekend were originally scheduled for September. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence several intercollegiate horse shows were rescheduled for later in the fall or moved to the spring.

Photos by Pebbles Turbeville

Overall Team Placings
St. Andrews University 93
Virginia Tech 83
North Carolina State 75
Liberty University 72
Martin Community College 64
Appalachian State 25
Continue reading “Equestrian Program Hosts Catch Up Shows – Western Team Remains Strong”

IHSA Teams Will Not Weaken!

IHSA Western and Hunter Seat Equestrian Teams were on the road last weekend. Both teams elected to show their less experienced riders. Coach Duda reflected, “We will keep working to get better, especially on the flat. Took a greener team this week and it showed.” Coach Wennberg agreed saying, “Great team in the making, we will work harder and not weaken.”

Individual riders triumphed including Sydney Eller and Taylor Fowler who qualified for Regionals in Intermediate Flat and Novice Fences respectively. Gina Ulveie earned the Reserve High Point Rider title for the Western team. Sydney reflected on the weekend saying, “Our team, along with their amazing parents, were all very supportive. We all plan to rally and work very hard to come back stronger on November 11th!”

IHSA Hunter Seat Team

Continue reading “IHSA Teams Will Not Weaken!”

UNC – Chapel Hill IHSA Show October 21, 2018

Hurricane Florence delayed the start of the intercollegiate competitive season, leading to a late start for both IHSA teams and causing the IDA team to miss riding at the first show of their season hosted by Wake Forest University.
The late start may have motivated the Knights to work harder and smarter in the limited time left to prepare for the first hunter seat show. 6:00 a.m. workouts combined with daily mounted practices led to a tie for the championship ribbon with Duke University at UNC – Chapel Hill on Oct. 21st.
Coach Ashley Duda said, “St Andrews usually has the luxury of opening their season at home. This year, we started our season away and the riders did an excellent job handling the change and unfamiliar horses. We had strong rides throughout the day, bringing home 8 individual class wins. We are trying to stay consistent and clean up a few mistakes from last weekend as we head to compete at NC State tomorrow.”
Blue Ribbons

Continue reading “UNC – Chapel Hill IHSA Show October 21, 2018”

A New Academic Year!!!


Welcome to Fall 2018 at St. Andrews Equestrian!

Today we had rider placement for our incoming riders, it was great fun to watch them ride the horses and show us what they can do. Looking forward to getting the instructional program going in the near future.

Sunday – 3 to 4 p.m.

Barn orientation. Instructors and barn managers will be showing new students where to find tack and other equipment.

Tuesday – Classes Start

Revised Tuesday schedule so everyone can attend Opening Convocation and welcome Luncheon.

Regular Class Meeting Times                                 August 21 Class Meeting Times

8:00 – 9:15                                                                              8:00 – 8:40
9:30 – 10:45                                                                            8:55 – 9:35
11:00 – 12:15                                                                          9:50 – 10:30

Opening Convocation and Lunch 11:00 – 1:00

12:30 – 1:45                                                                            1:15 – 1:55
2:00 – 3:15                                                                              2:10 – 2:50
2:00 – 5:00                                                                              2:10 – 5:00

Classes beginning after 2:00                                           No change
Evening Classes                                                                      No change

Equestrian Fair
Friday August 24, 5 – 7 p.m.

Learn about the various clubs and teams the equestrian program offers. Sign up for work study and to volunteer for the Ride-Like-A-Knight Therapeutic Horsemanship program. Learn about the Pre Vet club and Dr. Kellam’s Internship program.  Register for team tryouts, get your lesson schedule, and be in the equestrian team photograph. Pizza, fun, skits and more!

Questions about any of these events? Email Nancy at or call the office 910-276-7771.

Setbacks Only Make You Stronger

By Zoe Cluck

Riding in college was something that I always dreamed of doing. I started riding when I was ten. And now, I’m living my dream of being on an intercollegiate riding team in college. In riding, I think it’s important to remember where you started. You didn’t always know how to jump a course of jumps or pull a mane, etc. Our sport has become one that is a little judgmental unfortunately. If you’re not doing the biggest and highest class, it seems as if you don’t matter.  I think this assumption can get the aspiring equestrian down at times. This sport is expensive and time consuming, but the horses and the love of the sport is ultimately what it is all about. We are lucky at St. Andrews to have such wonderful horses that we get to ride so frequently.

Liz and Zoe at ECU in November!

This isn’t a sudden realization, but a slow stumble that I came across after being diagnosed with Femoroacetabular Impingement in both of my hips over Christmas break. Basically, the bones in my hip grind together when I move, walk, or ride which is what has caused the labral tear.   The doctor told me that I probably should modify my activity and will eventually need surgery because the labral tear in the right hip will not heal on its own. I was glad to have an explanation for all the pain I had been experiencing. This diagnosis was pretty devastating because of how much I love to ride. To make the pain subside a little, the doctor recommended I reduce my riding to three days a week since I told him surgery was not an option until after graduation. I wanted to be able to ride during my last semester of college. Continue reading “Setbacks Only Make You Stronger”

The Ever-Increasing Unwanted Horse

Alex Varisco and her off the track thoroughbred Chad.
Alex Varisco and her off the track thoroughbred Chad.

Hi everyone, my name is Alex Varisco, and I am a senior at St. Andrews University studying communications and equine business management. I ride on the St. Andrews Intercollegiate Dressage Association Team, and one of my favorite aspects of this program is its emphasis on shaping future equestrian leaders in the equine industry. Whether one has intentions of riding professionally or simply owning horses for pleasure, we all play a role in the lives of these horses we love and care about. Perhaps the most eye opening part of my studies has been researching and discussing current events and issues in the equestrian world.

A hot topic in our classroom conversation, the ever increasing “unwanted horse” is an issue I chose to research for class when prompted to identify five challenges in the equine industry for discussion. Like many others, this issue affects me on a personal level, not only because of my love for horses and equestrian sports, but also because I own an off the track Thoroughbred and support the comeback of the breed in the equestrian sports world. After my investigation of this important industry challenge, I believe the researched information presented proves we must take initiative as future contributors to the equine industry and help resolve the issue of the unwanted horse in America.

Continue reading “The Ever-Increasing Unwanted Horse”

Congratulations to IHSA Zone Qualifiers

St. Andrews Western Semi Finals Qualifiers
IHSA Leaders
Carla Wennberg, Dillon Vaughn, Peggy McElveen, and Bob Cacchione at IHSA Western Regionals

Conner Smith
Open Horsemanship
Conner Smith
Advanced Horsemanship
Dillon Vaughn
Intermediate Horsemanship
Maggie Martin

St. Andrews Hunter Seat Zone Qualifiers

Walk Trot Canter
Hannah Newman
Novice Flat
Scout Maddox
Intermediate Flat
Liz Shaffer
Mackenzie Parks
Open Fences
Sabrina Vlacich
Cacchione Cup
Sabrina Vlacich


Photos by Pebbles Turbeville


St. Andrews Equestrian Program is dedicated to the development of future leaders in the equine industry. The program is home to the 2016 and 2017 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Champions in Western Horsemanship. The Hunter Seat team is regularly represented at IHSA Nationals and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team has sent riders to the National Championships nearly every year since 2002. Students also ride at USHJA and USEF rated shows as well as attending schooling shows.

A small liberal arts and sciences university, St. Andrews majors include Business, Biology and Therapeutic Horsemanship.