For information about the University of Vermont’s academic programs, admissions, and other questions which are not related to the equestrian team, please contact the school directly. Information can be found on their website: www.uvm.edu
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page for in depth information about the team.
Despite the fact that it is a club sport, the UVM Equestrian Team is one of the most successful in the country. Regardless of your level of expertise, you will find that riding on the team will give you access to an unparalleled riding education. Intercollegiate competition offers unique challenges to accomplished riders, and expert instruction is offered from beginner through advanced levels. The program’s focus is hunter seat equitation and basic dressage, involving 35 students each semester. Tryouts are held at the beginning of each year, with interim tryouts held at the beginning of the winter term to fill any open slots. If you are a dressage rider interested in continuing your education, please inquire.
The weekly schedule for members includes mandatory meetings, two lessons or practice sessions and two hours of work at the barn. The Equestrian Team makes its home at Imajica, the farm of coach Madeleine Austin. Transportation to the farm is provided by team members who have their own cars.
The Equestrian Team invites all interested athletes to try out. While the selection process is competitive, prospective members must remember that riders are needed at ALL levels. Madeleine looks for riders who are athletic, physically fit, intelligent and interested in continuing their riding education to the highest level.
Because intercollegiate competitions often limit entries, not all team members are able to compete. Intercollegiate showing is unique because riders are mounted on horses drawn by lot, provided by the host college. Students compete in eight to ten Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) shows each year, where they may qualify for the regional, zone and national finals.
The UVM Equestrian Team has consistently sent riders to the national finals and has won the regional championship eight times in the last dozen years. In 2000, UVM placed fourth at Nationals. In 2003, John Pigott won the coveted Cacchione Cup, a first for the region and a great honor for UVM. In 2004, UVM again sent a team to Nationals. In 2005, Rachel Bertsch was second in Intermediate fences and third in Intermediate flat, joining Amanda Starbuck and John Pigott as a multiple winner at nationals. 2006 brought yet another trip to the prestigious final for an entire team resulting in a fifth place finish. Jordan Werner competed successfully at Nationals in 2008 and 2009. Reese Green represented the region for the Cacchione Cup in 2010 as did Sophie Allen in 2011. In 2013, Madison McKay posted the best result in the Cacchione since John Pigott, finishing 6th.
The equestrian team has much to offer the dedicated, competitive athlete. While academics will be the focus of your life at school, riding can be an important part of it, as well. The same excellence you expect from UVM academics exists in the equestrian team, providing you with a first-class facility, coach, and opportunities.
If you would like to visit Imajica, please go the contact page. Please be aware that Imajica is a private facility and prospective students are welcome to do a self-guided tour of the farm.
Madeleine Austin has been the coach of UVM’s equestrian team since 1993. A Grand Prix dressage trainer, she has coached riders to international as well as national success in several disciplines. Email