Samantha Rides On

Natalie Davis

Wearing green and gold while surrounded by supporting friends and family, Samantha Stubblefield puts pen to paper alongside her senior peers swimmer, Jolie Daspit and golfer Megan Pistone.

Stubblefield officially signed for her commitment to Baylor University’s equestrian team on Wed., Nov. 13th. 

“I have been riding since I was five years old,” Stubblefield said. 

Equestrianism is the showing and riding of horses. Equestrian events include show jumping, dressage, eventing, combined driving, enduring, reining, and vaulting. Equestrian first became a Summer Olympic sport in 1900, but disappeared until 1912. Since 1912, it has been involved in every Summer Olympics.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be signing to Baylor,” Stubblefield said. “I loved the school and the team is so close with each other; its my dream school.”

National Collegiate Equestrian Association,NCEA, encompases 23 universities/colleges. Baylor University ranks 6th out of all the schools. Baylor’s equestrian team has over 80 members. Since their program began in 2006, the Baylor Bears have qualified for the NCEA Championships every year. The NCEA Championships also are hosted by Baylor annually.

“My advice to anyone who has the goal of committing would be to start early and not be afraid to put yourself out there,” Stubblefield said.

The recruitment and commitment process begins with a contact between the athlete and coach, which typically occurs off of the college campus. From there, a coach will perform an evaluation in which they will study and observe the athlete competing or practicing. A verbal commitment can occur at anytime before the athlete is eligible to sign a letter of intent, but they are not legally binding. The final step in committing to a college is to sign a letter of intent stating that the rider agrees and accepts to playing for said school; signing of the letter of intent occurs in the athlete’s senior year of high school on a designated signing day.

“Riding is my life,” Stubblefield said. “It means so much because it has given me life long friends, and I have so many opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible without horses.”