First-year AFM student, Delaney shares her experience preparing for competitions as a part of UWaterloo’s Equestrian Club.
Did you know that the University of Waterloo has an Equestrian Club? It was founded in 2005 by Lisa Cahill and other equestrian enthusiasts and the main goal of the club is to have a student-run organization that promotes the sport through clinics, socials, and competitions. Although the club started small, the club has grown each year and is currently made up of 15-20 riders with various levels of show experience.
The School of Accounting and Finance caught up with Delaney, a current Equestrian Club member and first-year Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) student to learn what it’s like to ride competitively and how students can get involved and pursue the equestrian sport at Waterloo.
"You are never a perfect rider, you always have something to learn, no matter how talented or experienced you are.” – Delaney, AFM student
Tell us a little bit about you, and how and why you joined the Equestrian Club.
I'm a first-year AFM student from a small town outside of Ottawa. I have loved horses and the equestrian sport ever since I was five years old and was first allowed to take lessons. I have been competing competitively for over 10 years and it has become a major part of my identity. When I first came to the University of Waterloo, I was worried that I would have to sacrifice my passion to continue my education. However, joining the Equestrian Club team allowed me to continue pursuing my passion as well as my education without having to sacrifice either. I was able to work with an amazing group of UWaterloo students to compete in cross-university competitions.
What kind of competitions do you compete in?
I have been riding in the hunter jumper discipline throughout my career. I started training in hunters when I was eight years old and transitioned to jumpers when I turned fourteen. In 2019, I was the overall 1-meter jumper champion at the Ontario Provincial Championships. Most recently in my career, I helped transition horses into the jumper ring and did some catch riding. My coaches always put a lot of focus on my equitation which has allowed me to easily transition into the equitation style competitions on the university circuit.
What do you love most about riding and why do you think others would too?
What I love about being an equestrian is not only the supportive team that builds up around you but also the sense of constant improvement with the opportunity to continue learning. I would encourage other students to try this sport to challenge themselves physically and mentally while creating a family of similarly minded students. We have a saying that you are never a perfect rider, you always have something to learn, no matter how talented or experienced you are.
What is your pre-competition routine like?
My pre-competition routine starts the night before the competition. I walk to the cafeteria with my friends to pick up some snacks for the competition the next day. I make sure to be in bed very early so that I have enough energy the next morning. In the morning, I pack up my riding gear and put on my UWaterloo merch and riding clothes. I make sure to eat a good breakfast and put on my lucky bracelet before leaving for my carpool. I drive to the competition with other team members while we pump ourselves up for the competition. Once we’ve reached the competition, we stretch and get ready to cheer on other team members.
Where, when and how can a student get involved?
The first step to getting connected and staying updated with the UWaterloo equestrian team is to follow our team on Instagram , check out our or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To join the team, make sure to submit an application in the fall for an opportunity to try-out for the team. After tryouts are complete, an email introducing the new team will be sent out and our Instagram page will be updated. After the application and try out process, the team will get ready for the first competition!