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University of Central Florida Show Scene and Equestrian Team?

Can anyone tell me about the UCF Equestrian (either h/j or dressage) team, and how is the show scene down in Orlando? What are the team tryouts like? How competitive of a rider are they looking for? Only an hour away from Ocala, and two hours away from Wellington :smiley:

I’m going to visit campus on Friday (and also Harry Potter world!), but did any of you guys go to UCF and what did you think?

I checked out their website and emailed the team captain, but I would love an insider’s view! UCF is only about 6 hours away from home, and it looks like they are going to offer me a pretty big scholarship.

Thanks!

IMO you would probably be better off if you want to show and compete at upper levels to just go to one of the barns in Orlando area rather than the UCF team. I don’t think the team or coaches go to many (any) A shows like WEF even with their regular students - they may go for “local days” at HITS but not sure. They are nice people and all but not top in the field (which allows them to make time for coaching college teams so not necessarily a negative). If you are an experienced beginner I don’t think you will have any trouble “making” the team and really, you are just another boarder for them with the same rates but you may get a cut on lesson prices through UCF. I think the facilities at the UCF team farm are fairly minimal at best. So it depends on what you want to do but if you are serious about competing or or getting top notch training/coaching you might want to look elsewhere. If you want to be part of the riding team for fun and socializing and being able to get a regular lesson while in college then go for it - I am sure you will have fun. Orlando has a decent local show scene for both H/J and Dressage with some top quality trainers.

Thanks! I am pretty experienced, but still a novice. I would like to show at the higher levels, but I’m not really interested in anything above 2"9’, so that will limit me on what I can do at shows. I won’t be bringing a horse, so I won’t have to worry about paying board, I would just have to pay for one lesson per week as is required of all team members.

I am fairly serious about competing, and I hope to find a working student position of some sort if I do choose to go to school in Florida and decide not to ride on a team. However, with the challenges of being in college and living on my own, I may opt to ride on the team and show IHSA for just for the fun of it while still getting lessons. In no way am I an A-rated show person now, and I’m sure UCF’s minimal facilities are most definitely nicer than our teeny little farm :slight_smile:

I went to UCF and rode on the HJ team and then trained with the coach outside of the team. The HJ team is based out of Wendover Place and the trainers are fantastic. I stopped doing the ihsa shows because I was sick of traveling to ride in just one class. The tryouts are competitive with over half getting cut. To get the most overall team points you need riders at every level, not necessarily 10 3ft6 riders, not only are spots limited but they only need a certain amount of each level of rider.

The trainers at Wendover show at the local shows every month and also go to the bigger “a” shows frequently. Even if you don’t do the team, you owe it to yourself to check out Wendover if you are serious about competing and becoming a better rider. They truly are good people.

It unfortunately is not an hour to Ocala or two to Wellington from UCF… An hour and 45 min to Ocala IF you make good time and over three to Wellington. Wendover is your average local show barn nothing special at all. The dressage team is a mess stay away. Seriously a ton of drama with team captain having relations with the coaches husband etc and you can do a lot better at other dressage barns as far as coaching goes.

Hmm good to see the team I helped start has such a glowing reputation…

Chestnut Hunter - one thing for sure. If you participate in IHSA, you will be a much more confident rider. I have utmost respect for IHSA riders - they become ‘catch riders’ extraordinaire! And that is a valuable asset.

Either that or you’ll run away!

[QUOTE=kkgeorgio;7492529]
It unfortunately is not an hour to Ocala or two to Wellington from UCF… An hour and 45 min to Ocala IF you make good time and over three to Wellington. QUOTE]

Yup, closer to 4 hours to Wellington, and that’s if you don’t hit traffic on 95 :wink:

[QUOTE=kkgeorgio;7492529]
It unfortunately is not an hour to Ocala or two to Wellington from UCF… An hour and 45 min to Ocala IF you make good time and over three to Wellington. Wendover is your average local show barn nothing special at all. The dressage team is a mess stay away. Seriously a ton of drama with team captain having relations with the coaches husband etc and you can do a lot better at other dressage barns as far as coaching goes.[/QUOTE]

Goes to show my navigation skills, doesn’t it? :slight_smile: It would at least be much closer to Wellington/Ocala than I am now!

[QUOTE=ccoronios;7493009]
Chestnut Hunter - one thing for sure. If you participate in IHSA, you will be a much more confident rider. I have utmost respect for IHSA riders - they become ‘catch riders’ extraordinaire! And that is a valuable asset.

Either that or you’ll run away![/QUOTE]

I hope so! I feel as though I could really thrive in IHSA. A lesson once a week would be HEAVEN, and getting to ride all kinds of different horses (even problem ones) sounds amazing.

Even if I end up not making an IHSA team, I will be finding a barn near my college and working my butt off for lessons :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=kkgeorgio;7492529]
It unfortunately is not an hour to Ocala or two to Wellington from UCF… An hour and 45 min to Ocala IF you make good time and over three to Wellington. Wendover is your average local show barn nothing special at all. The dressage team is a mess stay away. Seriously a ton of drama with team captain having relations with the coaches husband etc and you can do a lot better at other dressage barns as far as coaching goes.[/QUOTE]

:eek: I can see this post starting some serious arguments… but thank you for the blunt honesty!

[QUOTE=kkgeorgio;7492529]
It unfortunately is not an hour to Ocala or two to Wellington from UCF… An hour and 45 min to Ocala IF you make good time and over three to Wellington. Wendover is your average local show barn nothing special at all. The dressage team is a mess stay away. Seriously a ton of drama with team captain having relations with the coaches husband etc and you can do a lot better at other dressage barns as far as coaching goes.[/QUOTE]

Just clarifying that the dressage team does not train at Wendover. TY