Of all the student clubs one expects to hear about at FIU, one stands out as perhaps the most surprising. The equestrian club got its start several years ago when horse lovers with a passion for competition banded together. Today it draws a mix of experienced and first-time riders.
The club comprises two branches: members who come out strictly for pleasure and those who form the competitive team. The latter train for approximately 10 competitions a year during the season, which lasts from September to March, and attend practice twice a week at the International Equestrian Center, a private facility in the city of Southwest Ranches in Broward County. Currently a dozen members participate in competition, each one decked out in her official riding gear (men are welcome to join but rarely do) and astride horses provided by the center.
Head coach Daniela Roy trains members in an English style of riding that focuses on the execution of jumps as well as the rider’s positioning on the horse.
Whether they are riding for pleasure or preparing for competition, one thing is for sure: these young women have created a bond with the horses and with each other that is unmatched.
“I love animals, they’re pretty much my life,” said team member Allegra Giomblanco. “They helped me become the person I am today.”
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