Campus Connect: Meet the ... Equestrian Club
Galloway, N.J. – The Stockton Equestrian Club (SEC), a recognized organization of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association as of 2017, is opening their barn doors to provide riding opportunities, educational events, volunteer experiences, and much more to the Stockton community this fall.
The club’s goal is to unite students with an interest or passion for horses and horseback riding who attend Stockton University. They are entering their first year hosting an IHSA competition at Split Elm Equestrian Center of Mays Landing. This facility is a full-service equestrian center offering boarding, lessons, clinics, breeding, shows, training, and more for both horse and rider.
Their instructor, Stephanie Morrongiello, is an alum of Stockton and also the owner of Split Elm Equestrian Center where their rides take place.
“This club has opened a lot of friendships and doors for me,” said junior psychology major and club Captain, Anna Sucar of Forked River. “A lot of people don’t know that we actually compete for the school, and that’s something our riders find fun and valuable.”
Prospective students at Stockton, with and without riding experience, have already reached out to Sucar showing interest in the team.
“A lot more people are starting with our organization, now that word is getting out that we exist. One girl knew nothing and just started competing with us while others showing interest have been riding for years. The club is really open to all-levels and ages, whether you’re a transfer, freshmen or senior,” said Sucar.
The main styles of riding for the club are English and Western, though the club only competes in English style.
Students can participate in up to ten 1-hour lessons throughout each semester at a discounted rate at Split Elm. This discounted rate varies between $10-$30. It is an exclusive rate to Stockton Equestrian Club students and alumni. The club members also get the opportunity to participate in “clinic,” sessions throughout the year.
“Even if you don’t know how to ride a horse, you can still join and learn,” said Sucar.
Sucar also discussed the convenience of having Split Elm as their riding location.
“Where riders from other organizations will have to drive up to an hour to Split Elm, Stockton is only ten minutes away,” said Sucar. “It’s very valuable to us.”
Special events hosted by the club throughout the year include the Equestrian Club “Campfire,” where riders sell s’mores kits to the Stockton community. Last spring, the team also attended the Horse World Expo in Pennsylvania to watch riders.
The organization also does team-building activities volunteering for Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center, a therapeutic horseback riding center designed to improve the mind, body, and spirit of children and adults with disabilities.
“Last fall, we painted all of their jumps and worked on their sensory trail for individuals with autism,” said Sucar.
Officer positions within the club include President, Vice President, Captain, Secretary, Treasurer, Philanthropist, and Social Medial & Apparel Representative. All positions will be open for elections at the end of the spring 2019 semester. Members need to be in the club for one full semester to run for an officer position.
“We’re open to anyone who wants to give it a try and look forward to the new semester,” said Sucar.
The equestrian club hosts club meetings one day out of each month and lessons once a week.
The competing team is open to any active club members. Club members are not required to compete. For more information, e-mail the club at Equestrianclub@stockton.edu. You can also follow them on twitter (@stocoequestrian ) and Instagram (@stocktonequestrianclub).
Photos: Club Captain Anna Sucar jumping and club members Amanda Brinn (left) and Emily Descano (right). Descano is a beginner from the spring semester and Brinn has been riding for two years.
_ Reported by Jessica Jacob