APHA and the entire horse industry is saddened to hear the University of Tennessee–Martin has decided to discontinue its varsity Women’s Equestrian program following its 2015–2016 season—read the full UT-M release here. This follows on the heels of Kansas State University’s announcement in October that their program is being dissolved—click to read that October 16 apha.com news story.
In light of this announcement, it’s more important than ever to rally support for Women’s Equestrian’s status in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its future at participating institutions. Discussion points as well as pertinent contact information is outlined on apha.com/ncaa-equestrian, and APHA members are encouraged to contact decision-makers—including NCAA officials, university presidents, university athletic directors and Women’s Equestrian coaches—to voice their support for the future of varsity equestrian programs and their value to the horse industry.
Two key events that impact the future of Women’s Equestrian and its affiliation with the NCAA are planned for December 2014. On December 2–3, a meeting of NCAA-level Women’s Equestrian coaches will take place in Dallas, Texas; a meeting for athletic directors from institutions that offer NCAA-level Equestrian programs will take place December 12, also in Dallas.
Originally, there was a plan to convene a meeting at the NCAA Convention in January of athletic directors to finalize their legislative game plan. In light of the UT-Martin announcement, however, the decision was made to engage athletic directors and involved athletic conferences into an immediate campaign of support to NCAA leadership. The campaign will focus on the level of resources already committed toward their Equestrian programs and place a formal request for the CWA recommendation to be reconsidered. The pending recommendation and the uncertainty of the NCAA timeline have put institutions in a precarious situation.
Varsity Women’s Equestrian programs offer important benefits to young equestriennes and the horse industry at large. Visit apha.com/ncaa-equestrian for the latest information and resources to help save Women’s Equestrian programs nationwide.
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.