Sweet Briar’s personalized program is comprehensive and is designed to complement your academic pursuits. Both advanced competitors and beginners enjoy a full calendar of on- and off-campus competitions and fun riding activities throughout the year.
Whether you’re competing independently, participating as a member of a team, or working behind the scenes as an organizer, students at every level are involved in making riding events a success.
The College hosts several prestigious riding competitions each year, including indoor shows, a hunter trial, a hunter pace, and the annual Sweet Briar Horse Show, begun in 1926. These events draw visitors to campus to compete before such well-known equestrian experts as Sue Ashe, Jimmy Lee, Kevin Lenehan, Patty Heuckeroth, Betty Oare, Sally Sexton, “Bucky“ Reynolds and Glenn Moody. An American National Riding Commission (ANRC) Training center, a spring/summer “A“ horse show series and riding clinics round out the Sweet Briar season.
Sweet Briar riders compete successfully at rated shows, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) shows and schooling shows. Sweet Briar riders consistently win in Amateur Owner and Adult Amateur hunter divisions, equitation medals, and U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Adult equitation and jumper classes.
Sweet Briar-schooled horses have won at Madison Square Garden, Washington International, Devon, Upperville, Raleigh and on the Florida Circuit. The Rogers Riding Center provides transportation, making it easy to travel to seasonal horse shows.
In 2012, Sweet Briar won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship, after coming close in 2011 as reserve champions. Sweet Briar riders were the 2010 ANRC national reserve champions, marking the 17th time the College has claimed the champion or reserve champion titles at the ANRC national finals. Individual riders have won open and novice rider championships at IHSA national competitions, along with many IHSA regional and zone awards. The 2006 Sweet Briar team placed third at the IHSA National Championship finals. In 2012, the IHSA team won the Zone 4 Region 2 Reserve Championship. Other IHSA championship titles earned in 2012 include the Zone 4 Intermediate Equitation on the Flat, Zone 4 Novice Equitation on the Flat and the Zone 4 Region 2 Open Equitation on the Flat (reserve).
Riders may represent Sweet Briar on College-supported teams including the field riding team, IHSA team, the hunter show team, the jumper show team and the ANRC/ODAC team.
Hunter trials, hunter pace events, equitrials, “in-house” horse shows, and other recreational activities give Sweet Briar riders pleasure and valuable riding experience. Many enjoy riding to hounds with the Farmington, Keswick and Bedford hunts in Virginia. Riders have competed in hunter paces and hunter trials, winning at Deep Run, Keswick, Orange County Hunt Team Chase, Farmington and Sweet Briar.
Just for Fun
Less experienced riders also have the opportunity to ride and compete outside of lessons. Sweet Briar holds at-home “Fun Shows” and the IHSA offers competitive classes for beginner to advanced riders. Students whose main focus is riding for fun or fitness may enjoy a hack through the College’s 3,250 acres of fields and woods with friends.
Sweet Briar-owned horses encompass a variety of levels, including those suitable for instruction and trail riding, field hunters, show hunters and young horses in training. The College prides itself in owning more than 40 sound, well-mannered horses.
In addition to on-campus activities, the riding program works with the Office of Co-Curricular Life to organize field trips to places such as the National Sporting Library, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting and Middleburg-area equine operations.
SBC ANRC National Champions
ANRC National Champions
ANRC National Reserve Champions
ANRC Individual National Champions
2004 Karen Dennehy '05
2000 Jen Lampton '01
1988 Pam Ward '88
1987 Gail Phillips '88
1986 Pam Ward '88
1981 Jamie Plank '81
1980 Kathy Taylor
1979 Jamie Plank '81
1978 Jamie Plank '81
ANRC Reserve Individual National Champions
2010 Morganne Young
2001 Cara Meade '01
1990 Kerstin Chrisman
1989 Pam Ward '88
1986 Georgianna Congers
1985 Laurie Woolverton
1980 Pam Kobrock