CWU News

CWU Collegiate Equestrian Show November 14-15

Most college students don’t consider a horse-riding part of their curriculum, but for the dedicated riders of CWU’s Equestrian Club, sitting tall in the saddle is a requirement.

This weekend the Equestrian Club will hold its annual show on November 14 and 15 at the Orrion Farms Arena, 280 Orrion Road, in Ellensburg. The show runs 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Riders in the club will be assigned a horse based on their skill level and will be judged on their equitation, which refers to a rider's position while mounted, and their ability to ride correctly. In horse show competition, the rider, rather than the horse is evaluated.

The Orrion Farms Arena is owned by the Orr family, who generously donates the use of their arena to CWU’s Equestrian Club.

The Equestrian Club is a relatively new club at CWU, and competes through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). It was established in 2006 by a group of dedicated horse lovers who wanted to be able to bring the world of competitive riding to CWU. Members who wish to compete travel to shows and can show English, Western or both. “They show at colleges across the Pacific Northwest including LBCC, Western Washington University, University of Washington, University of Oregon, and Oregon State University.

“We are one of the larger sports clubs on campus, and we have a group of very dedicated students and big plans for our future,” said Gretchen Beyer, club president. “One of the best things about this club is that you don’t need a horse, or have any riding experience. Members can be either competing or non-competing. It is a personal choice for each member if they wish to compete or not.”

The IHSA show season runs from September to March. During show season club members have weekly ride nights where both competing and non-competing members get to practice for shows. Members may attend shows at the start of spring quarter depending on how well they do during the regular season. Shows during our season are held all across the Pacific Northwest. In spring quarter, shows will be held as far away as Pennsylvania.

Horses are all personally owned by members, meaning there are no university-owned horses. Each member is responsible for their monthly board check and any other horse expenses.

“We also have no professional coach,” added Beyer. “Our coach is a CWU student just like every other member which is a very unique thing to have in an IHSA club.

“And because we are a completely student run club there is no dedicated day for practice as we have to work around class and work schedules. We plan ride nights at our weekly meetings and try to best accommodate everyone’s busy schedule.

For more information about the CWU Equestrian Club, go to

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,