April has been a month packed full of exciting events for MUET. Every weekend has brought something new, everything from Hunt Seat Zones to the Dressage home show, to Dressage Nationals, Rolex, and IHSA Nationals over the next few weeks. This past weekend we hosted out Annual Gala, MUET’s night of reflection and celebration of the past year. Our riders change out of their breeches and helmets and get dressed up for an evening full of speeches, awards, and fundraising for our wonderful team.
We opened the night with a welcome speech from our senior exec members, followed by a speech from one of our special guests, Bob Cacchione. Bob is the founder of IHSA, and we are honored that he took time out of his busy schedule to come and share this special night with us. Not only did Bob come to speak to us about IHSA, he also came to present the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award to our very own Lori Cramer. The Lifetime Achievement award is awarded to recognize longstanding commitment to IHSA.
After a delicious dinner courtesy of Miami Catering, the coaches took the stage and gave a speech that took us through the journey we had this year, from triumphs to rainy rides. The Coaches and seniors were then presented with gifts courtesy of the team to thank them for all that they have done. We then heard from special guest Kenny Copenhaver, a Miami University Equestrian Alumni and Western Coach who is credited with pioneering the addition of Western to the IHSA. It was amazing to have him here with us, and to hear stories of his time here.
MUET offers many scholarships to its riders, which were presented at the Gala. Here are our 2016 Scholarship winners:
Truman: Jessica Brobst
Graduating Member: Zach LeCompte
Returning Member: Megan O’Connell
Scout Scholarship: Sarah Kingsbury
Amy Schenkel: Sarah Laane, Monique Booher, Katie Schulze, Emily Simanskis, Taylor Myers, Emma Alhalel, Jessica Brobst, Sarah Kingsbury, Kylie Fleming and Ashlyn Anderson.
Citro Sportsmanship Award: Katie Schultze
Congratulations to this years scholarship recipients!
Throughout the night, guests had the chance to bid on items donated by parents and members of the team in our silent auction. The Gala is the Equestrian Team’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and we would like to thank everyone who bid on items or donated to the team for their support of the organization that means so much to all of us.
Overall, the 2016 Gala was a resounding success. Thank you to this years executive board for all of their hard work, and a special thanks to Julia Mason for planning the entire event. We would also like to thank all of our guests for coming out and supporting us on this special night.
Our MUET weekend didn’t end on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, some of our MUET Alum gathered for our Annual Alumni ride. After a delicious breakfast at the Armstrong Student Center, our alumni made their way to the barn for our Equestrian Showcase, an event consisting of performances of each of our disciplines, including jumping, dressage drill team, and reining set to music.
After the showcase, Alumni were invited to ride some of our Miami horses. We love getting to visit with our alumni, and it was wonderful to have so many with us for the day.
The team used this weekend to celebrate not only the past and present of MUET, but the future as well. The equestrian programming at Miami University is growing, and we are setting our eyes on more programs for incoming riders. We are also looking towards the next phase of the Equestrian Center itself, the building of an indoor arena. To learn more about the past of MUET and where we are headed, take a look at the MUET 2016 Alumni Presentation that was presented this past weekend.