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Equestrains Exemplify Excellence

David Otero Sports Editor


Whether it is in a competition or contributing to a local rescue, LIU Post’s equestrian team has demonstrated the ability to put its best foot forward.

Recently, the team participated in Project Sage Horse Rescue, which is a non-profit organization that rescues horses from going to slaughter. The team has helped with Project Sage efforts dating back to last fall and continued pitching in during this semester on March 10. The team donated over five hundred dollars worth of merchandise with items such as horse blankets and wraps that the rescue can use or sell to receive additional money to save more horses from going to slaughter. According to its website, “Project Sage Horse Rescue attends horse auctions and goes to feedlots to purchase horses that would oth- erwise be sent to slaughter.”

After choosing to help Project Sage, senior captain Elizabeth Johnston has had great memories from assisting with this effort the past two times with the team. “This year the captains, Ashley [Staib] and I, wanted to put a strong focus on community service,” said Johnston. “Project Sage is stable with the goal to rescue horses, rehabilitate them, and adopt them out, so for a team full of people who share a love for horses this was the perfect outlet.”

Holly Lynn Leffhalm is a sophomore on the team who has enjoyed participating in the Project Sage efforts. “We groomed the horses, mucked the stalls and turnouts, cleaned the barn and cleaned the water buckets among other things,” said Leffhalm, who is also the fundraising officer of the equestrian team.

Johnston revealed one of her personal favorite stories as a result of getting involved with Project Sage: “A rescued horse, who had lost her foal, was paired with a foal that was in no way related to her. Almost immediately the foal began nursing off of the adopted mother. Although adoption is a frequent occurrence with people, it is not with horses, so the success was not only rare but incredible.”

two alumni riders, Chelsea Soldner and Laura Powell, all participated at Regionals. Soldner and Powell qualified for the Zone 2 Championship Show which happened on April 7.

The competition that followed Regionals is called “Zones.” The way it works is that if you place first or second in your event at Regionals, then you advance to Zones. If you place in first or second at Zones, you then advance to Nationals. Fifty three different schools in New York State compete against each other in Zones.

Although the equestrian team is making strides in events, it is not considered a NCAA sport at LIU Post. There are several qualifications required to move from a club/recreational sport. Leffhalm believes that not being considered a NCAA sport can pos- sibly be looked at as a good thing because right now the make-up of the equestrian team is full of possibilities. “If it were an NCAA team, not anyone could just join. This setup is so open and welcoming,” said Leffhalm.

The team allows anyone to join even if they have never been on a horse before. Riders of all levels have the ability to be a part of the team. If you are interested in joining and trying out for the team, you can contact the team through email:, or check out the LIU Post Eques- trian Team’s page on Facebook.

–Did you ever realize how much the word “horse” is used in everyday terms/language? Look:

Stud, healthy as a horse, hungry as a horse, backing the wrong horse, dark horse, go the distance, hold your horses, horse laugh, horse play, horse power, horsing around, neck and neck, ponytail, stallion, straight from the horse’s mouth, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

In addition to raising money for the horse rescue, Leffhalm believes that activities such as

Project Sage have allowed the equestrian team to become closer. “Even though it’s such an individ- ualized sport, the team has be- come very close. There is a lot of team bonding with these events,” said Leffhalm.

The team has also made strides in competition. Five rid- ers for the team qualified for the Region 4 Championship which took place on March 23 in New Jersey. Captain Elizabeth John- ston, Leffhalm, Tina Alvarez, and

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