Vanderbilt Equestrian Team-Caroline Biggs-Wins National Championship
For the first time in Vanderbilt Club Sports and the Vanderbilt Equestrian Team history, Caroline Biggs won the 2017 National Championship for Individual Novice Flat at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Competition in Lexington, KY. Caroline is a rising junior from Knoxville, TN, studying Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University.
Vanderbilt Equestrian Team (VET) is a club sport team at Vanderbilt University that competes in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competitions. This year VET practiced at Hunter’s Court in Murfreesboro, TN, and was coached by Janelle Harcus. They welcome riders from all backgrounds and levels of riding experience. This year had new members that ranged from riders with prior placing in national equestrian championships to those who had never ridden a horse before. As a team, they won their region, qualified for zones the past three years in a row, and have sent numerous riders on to regionals, zones, and nationals as individuals.
However, bringing home a IHSA National Championship title is an honor the Vanderbilt Equestrian Team is experiencing for the first time. IHSA competitions are very unique in that you don’t actually ride your own horse. The teams competing at any given show are responsible for bringing a few horses to be used, and each rider randomly draws a horse from this group to compete with. Because of this, IHSA competitions test your ability to adapt and ride an unfamiliar horse, and provide an opportunity for people to compete without having to own a horse of their own. Caroline got the honor of riding a horse named Signature that came all the way to the competition in Lexington, KY from Shreveport, LA.
The specific event in the IHSA competition that Caroline won her the National Championship consisted of flatwork. Competitors are responsible for displaying basic movement of a horse like walking, trotting, and cantering in different patterns. When asked what it means to be the first National Champion for the Vanderbilt Equestrian Team, Caroline answered,
“Being the first national champion for VET is a huge honor. Our team is very competitive in our region, and we have a lot of talented riders who have been successful in both IHSA and other competitions on personal horses. We have made it to zones several times as a team but never all the way to Nationals, and while we have had some members make it to nationals as individuals, we’ve never come home with a win. I’m excited to have brought an IHSA national title to Vanderbilt, and hope I’ve paved the way for many other national champions from VET in the future.”
Please join us in congratulating Caroline Biggs and the Vanderbilt Equestrian Team on their IHSA National Championship!