About the Team

The UBC Thunderbirds Equestrian Sport Club trains out of Riverside Equestrian Centre and competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). We are part of Zone 8, Region 4 and we compete mostly in Washington and Oregon, USA. UBC is one of only 7 Canadian Universities in the IHSA, which consists of a total of 419 teams across North America. The Equestrian team is currently showing in the Hunt Seat sector of the IHSA.

Showing in the IHSA allows riders to continue their passion for the Equestrian Sport in university. Since it is not always feasible to own a horse while at school, the IHSA supports the ability to show on provided horses, exemplifying equitation and rider abilities. Joining our team gives the opportunity to travel and build team relationships with other student riders, as we engage in team practices, activities, and of course, the shows. Sportsmanship is a huge part of the IHSA, and as a result, we gain connections with many other students from a variety of universities.

Join us on October 2 2020 at 5:30 PM PDT via Zoom for our first Information Session! Email us at equestrian.sc@ubc.ca to get the link!

Information Session:

Join us on October 2 2020 at 5:30 PM PDT via Zoom for our first Information Session! This is a great opportunity to learn more information about the team, meet some of our members, and get answers to any questions you may have! Email us at equestrian.sc@ubc.ca to get the link!

Tryouts: 

  • Information on 2020-2021 tryouts coming soon!

Eligibility Requirements: 

The IHSA has 8 levels of hunt seat riding, from the Walk-Trot flat class to Open over fences. Since our show format is catch riding, (i.e. we do not get warm-up time before our judged round or flat class, and usually have never ridden the horses before) we recommend some previous riding experience even for the beginner divisions. The more practice riders are able to get on different horses, the better they will become at showing IHSA. To be eligible for our IHSA Hunt Seat Team, riders must be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at UBC and in good academic standing.

Team members will be required to ride weekly with our team coach at Riverside, attend monthly meetings, compete in at least 3 competitions, and participate in TSC fundraisers and events. Riders are responsible for their own basic show attire: black tall boots, tan breeches, white show shirt, black or navy hunter show jacket, and black riding helmet.

Team Fees: 

Just like any competitive sport, unfortunately, there are costs to pay. However, the amounts of each fee changes year to year depending on the number of riders on the team. We also try out best to keep these fees as low as possible by hosting fundraisers throughout the year!

As a new member, one can expect the following costs throughout the year:

  • Tryout fee
  • Team fee
  • IHSA membership fee
  • Term lesson fees
  • Apparel fee (optional)
  • Show fees (vary depending on your division and travel costs)

Practice Schedule:

Athletes are required to ride weekly at Riverside Equestrian Centre with our coach Natalie Nahirney. If students already have a hunter/jumper/equitation coach in the Vancouver area, they may request an exemption from weekly lessons at Riverside but must still ride once per month in the UBC program.

Competition Schedule:

The Team will not be competing in Term 1 and has yet to decide whether we will compete in Term 2.


2019-2020

  • Regional Championships – Woodburn, WA
    • Reserve Champion – Jasmine Taylor

2018-2019

  • Zone 8 Finals – Stanford, CA
    • 6th Place in Intermediate Flat – Katie Donohoe

2017-2018

  • Regional Team Results: Overall 2nd Place
  • Zone 8 Finals – Stanford, CA
    • 1st Place in Open Fences – Claire Anderson
    • 1st Place in Open Flat – Natalie Nahirney
    • 1st Place in the Cacchione Cup – Claire Anderson
  • National Finals – Harrisburg, PA
    • 4th Place in Open Flat – Natalie Nahirney
    • Zone 8 Region 4 Cacchione Cup Rider: Claire Anderson

2016-2017

  • Zone 8 Finals – Stanford, CA
    • 1st Place in Open Flat – Natalie Nahirney
    • 2nd Place in Intermediate Fences – Claire Anderson
  • National Finals – Lexington, KY
    • 7th Place in Intermediate Fences – Claire Anderson
    • 9th Place in Intermediate Flat – Natalie Nahirney

2015-2016

  • Zone 8 Finals – Stanford, CA
    • 2nd Place in Intermediate Flat – Claire Anderson
    • 7th Place in Open Fences – Natalie Nahirney
  • National Finals – Lexington, KY
    • 2nd Place in Intermediate Flat – Claire Anderson
    • Zone 8 Region 4 Cacchione Cup Rider: Natalie Nahirney

UBC Equestrian was previously an AMS club with a competitive component. The AMS Club still exists as an equestrian community at UBC, but no longer contains the IHSA show team. The 2015-2016 season was the first year our team qualified for IHSA Regional, Zone, and National finals.

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Levels of Competition:

Class 1: Introductory Hunter Seat Equitation
Walk-Trot riders are those who have had no more than 24 weeks of instruction and who have not competed in a mounted competition that required them to canter. Diagonals will count.

Class 2A: Pre-Novice Hunter Seat Equitation
Class 2B: Novice Hunter Seat Equitation
Eligible for class 2A are those who have had more than 24 weeks of instruction and who have not competed in a mounted competition that required them to jump more than eighteen inches. Leads and diagonals count. 2B riders have not competed in any over fences classes higher than three feet in any competition, nor competed in any recognized competitions.

Class 3: Limit Hunter Seat Equitation
Those who have won no more than five Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 4: Limit Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences
Novice riders over fences have won no more than six classes in any over fences class three feet (3’) or higher in recognized competitions. Riders must have had at least six months continuous professional instruction over fences within the past year. To be shown over six or more fences at least 2′ 3″ in height and not to exceed 2′ 9″, and including at least one change of direction.

Class 5: Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation
Intermediate riders on the flat are those who have won six to ten Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 6: Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences
Intermediate riders over fences have won no more than six classes in any over fences class three feet, six inches (3’6”) or higher in recognized competitions.To be shown over six or more fences at least 2′ 6″ in height and not to exceed 3′, including at least one change of direction.

Class 7: Open Hunter Seat Equitation
Open riders on the flat are those who have won more than ten Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 8: Open Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences
Open riders over fences are those who have won more than six classes in any over fences class three feet, six inches (3’6”) or higher in recognized competitions. To be shown over six or more fences at least 2′ 9″ in height and not to exceed 3′ 3″ in height and 3′ in width including at least one change of direction.


UBC Thunderbirds Sport Clubs - Equestrian
Student Recreation Centre
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1


604-822-3683 equestrian.sc@ubc.ca

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