In 1998, equestrian was classified as an NCAA emerging sport. Currently 23 Division I and II universities, including four Big 12 schools, sponsor the sport at the varsity level, and more continue to add the program to their athletic department each year. In 2012, in an effort to further advance equestrian to a NCAA championship sport, the entity formerly known as Varsity Equestrian established an association to become the voice for the sport of equestrian within college athletics. The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) was founded to be the catalyst for growth of varsity level equestrian competition. For the most current list of equestrian programs or more information on the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (formerly Varsity Equestrian), please visit www.collegiateequestrian.com .
As a varsity program, we are sponsored by Kansas State Athletics, Inc. This means that all athletes must abide by NCEAA, Big 12, NCEA, and Athletic Department rules and regulations.
K-State has competed and been successful in both the IHSA and NCEA formats in the past. In 2006-2007 our program to compete fully in the NCEA format. Since then the program has experienced top 5 finishes at Nationals, including being the Reserve National Champion Western Team for the past two years.
In NCEA equestrian competition, there are two disciplines, Hunter Seat and Western with four events; Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat and over Fences, and Western Horsemanship and Reining. Judges score the events based off industry standards for that event.
The host team provides all of the horses and equipment for the competition. Draws are done at random on a pre-determined
set of horses. Tests/patterns are
distributed to both teams at least 15 days prior to the competition to allow time to memorize and practice them. Horses will be schooled by riders not competing that day, then each rider has 4-5 minutes to warm-up their draw before they compete. Competitions are in a head
to head format where one rider f
rom each school will compete on the same horse. The rider with the higher score will receive 1 point for their team. In each event, a minimum of four athletes will compete for each team. Coaches select the athletes who will compete for their team at each competition.
The National Championship feature 12 Hunter Seat and 12 Western teams, though a school must have both disciplines represented to be considered for Overall Team Champion. Teams are invited and ranked by a selection committee that chooses the teams based on strength of competition schedule and record throughout the regular season. Based on rankings assigned by the selection committee, teams are placed in brackets to compete tournament style in four rounds of competition, until the champions are crowned.
For more information, please visit our website at www.kstatesports.com
and click “Equestrian.” Under the “Prospective Athlete” tab, you will find more specific information about how to make the team and answers to other frequently asked questions.