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Wilson horse show all in good fun

July 14, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A horse show for the fun of it, the second of three scheduled this summer, was held Sunday at the Wilson College Equestrian Center for students in the school's community equestrian program.

Kim Battin, an adjunct faculty member who runs the school's horse shows and the community riding program, said 35 entrants competed for ribbons Sunday.

"This is not a serious show. It's just for fun," she said.

The event is held in June, July and August on the campus.

Entrants, ages 10 to 18, competed in events for beginner, novice and open equitation. Other games included barrel racing and pole bending.

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Lia College, 27, of Shippensburg, Pa., judged Sunday's event. She took equitation classes at Wilson, teaches riding and trains horses part time at home, she said.

Ashley Roman, 18, of Shippensburg, competed in the fun show on Vogue, a tall bay. She's been in the community riding program for eight years, she said.

She owns three horses and attends Gettysburg (Pa.) College, where she is majoring in Latin. She hopes to teach high school one day and also hopes to compete in equitation in the Olympics.

"I compete at a high level in dressage," she said.

The community horse program is a family affair for Carol Hoover of Chambersburg and her daughters, Lydia, 7 and Brinna, 12.

Carol Hoover has been riding in the program for six years.

"We do it for personal improvement," she said.

Hoover is on the board of directors of the Therapeutic Riding Center on Franklin Farm Lane in Chambersburg. Mentally and physically challenged persons are taught to ride for recreation there, she said.

Hoover's 10-year-old son, Ben, was at Wilson Sunday, but said he has no interest in horses. He was playing a Pokmon game on his hand-held computer.

Few boys are in the community riding program, Battin said.

Matt Kendall, 11, of Shippensburg, has been in it for two years. He was the only boy competing Sunday.

"It's OK," he said of the female-to-male ratio. "This is what I like to do."

Wilson's community equestrian program, which is open to anyone, has about 60 students during the summer months. The number drops to about 45 when the academic year begins, Battin said.

Most are younger than 18, and about 5 percent are adults. Classes, held in the evenings and on weekends, cost $23 an hour for group lessons and $43 an hour for private lessons, Battin said.

Wilson students do not participate in the community program.

The college offers a four-year bachelor's degree in equitation, Battin said. About 20 students are enrolled in it. Another 70 students take minor degrees in equitation to satisfy physical education requirements or as an elective.

Degrees in equitation prepare students for careers in stable management, breeding, horse training, teaching and for pre-veterinarian programs, Battin said.

The program has two full-time faculty members and six adjunct professors, she said.

The college has three horse barns that can hold about 70 horses. The school owns about 30 animals.

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