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UC Student Club Leader on the Lookout for Fellow Horse-Lovers in the City

Whether an experienced competitor or just a beginner, Shannon Carr is seeking students interested in joining a UC student organization that develops skill, showmanship and service.

Date: 12/28/2006
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: UC Equestrian Team
UC ingot University of Cincinnati psychology major Shannon Carr of Alexandria, Ky., remembers a very special Christmas back when she was just six years old. It was the year Coco Puff, her first pony, came into her life and ignited her passion for equestrian sport and competition. Horses became a passion she shared with her mother, Vicki Carr, a College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) faculty member and director of the UC Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center. It’s now a devotion they share at UC, as Vicki Carr serves as faculty advisor for the UC Equestrian Team (UCET) and Shannon serves as co-president with UC junior Amanda Sparks. The club members want to introduce themselves to new or prospective members at a recruitment meeting at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 7, in Room 741 of the Steger Student Life Center.

Shannon Carr and Cinder

The UC Equestrian Team is a student organization affiliated with the national Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Student members compete in regional and national competitions, focusing on Hunt Seat competition – which judges students on riding and jumping – and Western Competition, which involves horsemanship.

Carr says the team celebrated a good fall season in competition. The Western Team, including team members Julie Reese, Allison Kolb, Katie Brinkman, Tegan Smedley, Amanda Sparks and Anna Zaffiro, placed fourth as a team in horsemanship classes at the regional competition held at Miami University. In the Hunt Seat competition, team members Shannon Carr, Katie Jensen, Julie Reese, Kylee Headland and Julie Prevey placed second through fifth in individual jumping and flatwork classes.

Shannon at Miami

UCET members are responsible for taking at least two riding lessons per quarter, The group practices at Bridle Path Stables near East Fork Lake with coach Mary Huddle. Members are not required to own or lease a horse. The team meets on the first Sunday of every month. The team fee runs $100 per member per quarter, which can be supported through sponsorships.

In addition to practices and shows, UCET takes equine-related field trips and is looking ahead to visiting the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington this spring for the Rolex Kentucky three-day event.

Shannon adds that the team also volunteers with the Milestones Equestrian Achievement Program in Independence, Ky., a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding to improve physical and psychological conditions of special needs children. “Over the winter, we help care for the horses and can also ride them. During spring quarter, we work with the children as they ride,” Shannon says.

Shannon Carr

Horses became a mother-daughter passion for the Carrs when Shannon started taking lessons at five years old. She still has Coco Puff, her 24-year-old pony, on the farm in Alexandria, as well as Minnie Mouse, an Appendix horse that’s a cross between a quarter horse and thoroughbred. Vicki’s horse on the family farm is a Tennessee Walker. They lost a beloved horse, Cinder, to a sudden illness last summer.

As for UC students who haven’t been riding since they were five, Shannon says like anything else, skill is developed through practice. “You pick it up the more you ride and the more you get comfortable with it. During some of my rides, I’ve brought along some of my friends who don’t really ride, but they all love it. Anybody can ride.”

Shannon is an 18-year-old UC freshman, a Cincinnatus Scholar and graduate of Campbell County High School. Her brother, Dylan, is looking ahead to graduating from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services in the spring.

For more information on the UC Equestrian Team, contact Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) at 513-556-6115 or e-mail Shannon Carr at carrsn@email.uc.edu


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