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 including Washington and Oregon where most of our competitions take place. 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. After a Regional Team 2nd place finish in 2018 and three successive trips to Individual National Finals, we are looking forward to an exciting new academic year!

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.

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.

Try Outs: 

  • Please stay tuned for 2018-19 Tryout Dates!

Team Fees: 

  • 2018-19 Fees will be announced in Early September 2018

Practice Schedule:

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

While additional riding is always highly recommended, we will also be hosting several IHSA theory nights in preparation for our show season.

Competition Schedule:

  • Regional shows in Washington/Oregon:
    • Approximately 5-7 competition days in October, November, January, and February
    • 2018-19 dates will be announced in the fall
  • Regional Finals in Washingon/Oregon
    • February/March TBA
  • Zone Finals at Stanford University
    • April 7th 2018
  • National Finals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    • May 3-6 2018

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

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

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

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.

Name Position Email
Claire Anderson Co-Club Lead equestrian.sc@ubc.ca
Katie Donohoe Travel and Safety equestrian.sc@ubc.ca
Megan Ross Finance Officer equestrian.sc@ubc.ca
Natalie Nahirney Co-Club Lead equestrian.sc@ubc.ca
Rachel Green Marketing and Communications equestrian.sc@ubc.ca

Levels of Competition:

Class 1: Walk-Trot 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 which required them to canter. Diagonals will count.

Class 2: Walk-Trot-Canter Hunter Seat Equitation
2A: Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter
2B Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter
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: Novice Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat
Those who have won no more than five Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 4: Novice 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 on the Flat
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 on the Flat
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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