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AMU Equestrian Team Has Strong Showing This Year

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Ave Maria University has bolstered its athletic program considerably over the years, but there's only one team that competes against the elite NCAA Division I colleges and universities – the AMU equestrian team. (Pictured, l-r, team members from left to right-Adrienne Conely, Sarah Schicitano, Victoria Speicher, Maggie Stutzman, Anna Richart, Alexis McClellan, Nichole Kendall, Sarah Olson, Jackie Lujan, Kubra Akyuz and Mary Dufresne.)

The equestrian team, which is a club sport at AMU, trains and competes in both English and Western riding disciplines at 12 different shows each semester throughout Florida and Georgia. And they do pretty well, placing 96 percent of the time, according to coach Katie O'Hare.

"The team brings together riders of all skill levels and teaches them teamwork and horsemanship as well as the virtues of courage, fortitude, humility and patience," said Miss O'Hare, who also runs The Stable Life of Ave Maria.

The 13 young women on the team practice together twice a week and also receive one-on-one lessons from Miss O'Hare. Their competitions are on weekends in both the fall and spring semesters.

equestrian1-400Competition is finished for the current academic year, but the riders are already looking forward to their first show in the fall semester,Sept. 27 in Ocala, FL, hosted by the University of Florida.

This spring and summer, the equestrian team will be fundraising and asking for sponsors to help offset travel expenses for the 2016-2017 show season. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Team President Maggie Stutzman at 843-422-3067 or Coach O'Hare at 970-799-4644. (pictured at right, l-r,  Maggie Stutzman, Victoria Speicher, Abigail Venter, Kubra Akyuz, and Alexis McClellan displaying ribbons after a meet in March.)

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