Stanford Equestrian Fall Update
Written by CRM
Thursday, 15 November 2018 16:45

Fall at the Stanford Red Barn!

What a wonderful Fall at the Red Barn! The Stanford Equestrian Team finished our last season with our second-straight 3rdplace finish at the IHSA National Finals for Hunt Seat, and a 6thplace finish for Dressage at the IDA National Finals, and we crowned four more National Champion or Reserve National Champion riders, bringing Stanford's total to 26! You can read more about the IHSA and IDA Nationals finals below.

We kicked off the season with seven new riders, bringing our ranks to 44 for the season. Although we currently have a record nine athletes studying overseas this semester, all of our riders dug in and started the season strong with Hunt Seat and Dressage going undefeated in Fall, and Western taking Reserve High Point Team two of their first three times in the arena.



Our IEA (High School and Middle School) teams have also gotten off to a strong start, with both our Red Barn and Woodside Teams scoring wins and close to qualifying for Regionals at the halfway point in the season. We are particularly excited to welcome Katie Steiner to our Coaching Staff! Katie take over the coaching of our IEA teams and joins Assistant Coach/Program Director, Tina Davey, and Barn Manager, Cathy D’Arcey.  

We are beyond delighted to have completed the reroofing of our Covered Arena and the historic Red Barn, thanks to gifts and support from almost 50 donors and families! It feels amazing to have the new arena roof—complete with additional skylights for light, and a new overhang to prevent flooding—not to mention gorgeous new GGT footing, and a beautiful (historically accurate color) roof on the Red Barn!

Now, we are turning our attention to building our endowment to allow the Equestrian Program to remain strong in perpetuity. As we receive no funding of any kind from Stanford and/or the Department of Athletics, the Student Equestrian Endowment will allow us to fully fund all members of the Team, subsidize Physical Education classes, provide financial aid as needed to IEA and AEL riders, and support our horses. Currently all Team members pay dues and user fees and $40,000 of annual fundraising is still required to cover the cost of Post-Season travel fees and financial aid. More information on how to support either our annual campaign or endowment is below!

It certainly will be a busy year at the Red Barn -- we hope to see you there!

Vanessa Bartsch
Executive Director/Head Coach Equestrian
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2018 Fall Hunt Seat Results

The Hunt Seat Team finished off their Fall season undefeated: Stanford University 133pts, Cal Poly, SLO 93, UC Berkeley 53, Santa Cruz 39, UC Davis 26, Sonoma 26, Santa Clara 16, Nevada 12, CSUMB 1.

Stanford had our first Hunt Seat Regional Qualifier with sr. Hannah Ankeny in Novice Fences (Ankeny went on to an undefeated run in Int. Flat as well). Our Open riders, jr. Kelsi Okun and sr. Kristen Blomstrom, have each collected wins with Okun taking back-to-back High Point Rider awards at our home show! Tying Okun for High Point Rider at our first home show was so. Lindsay Thornton with her double wins. Additional wins for the season have been racked up by sr. Cate Guyman, so. Peyton Freeman, jr. Emma McLean. The Cardinal also has an  undefeated streak in WTC with jr. Ali Black, sr. Claire Jacobson, and sr. Julia Grace each with blues, not to mention sr. Jenn Parker winning her first WT class!

Next up for Hunt Seat:
Jan 26 & 27 @ Berkeley
Feb 9 & 10 HOME @ Stanford Red Barn
March 2 Regionals & CA Collegiate Finals @ Stanford Red Barn

2018 Fall Dressage Results

Dressage posted two big team wins to kick off their season in the lead. First Level rider, so. Abby Fleischli, won both her classes, taking High Point Rider on the second day. So. Lucy Brewer made her showing debut at Intro and won her first blue on Sunday. There were also Top Five finishes for sr. Holly Francis in her first-ever Dressage show (at Upper), as well as sr. Alexa Corse (Lower), and so. Melda Alaluf (First).

Dressage leads the Region and next shows:
Jan 19 & 20 HOME @ Stanford Red Barn
Feb 16 & 17 @ UC Davis

2018 Fall Western Results

Our Western Team had a super recruitment year and started the year with strong showings. Jr. Ross Ewald moved into Open and won her first Reining class last weekend at Davis. Jr. Ali Black and So. Eden Grown-Haeberli became Stanford's first two 'crossover' athletes in a number of years (competing for both Hunt Seat and Western), both in the ribbons. Fr. Paiton Gleeson, fr. Meagan Matthews, and so. Carson Conley all showed for the first time for Stanford. And, jr. Sam Baird's win at WJ made her the very first Western Regional Qualifier of the season!

More western showing in Winter :
Feb 2 & 3 @ Cal Poly
Feb 23 @ Cal Poly
Feb 24: Regionals & CA Collegiate Finals @ Cal Poly

Horses of the Red Barn

This summer we had some big shoes to fill in the Red Barn after Team legend, Sterling, retired to Lompoc, CA to live with former Team horse, Lux, as well as a zebra!! (We can’t thank Alex Lopez enough for sponsoring this retirement, not to mention all the alums who helped make it happen, especially Wei Ling and Katherine!).

Joining us are some simply amazing horses, such as Bubblegum (seen above), Sophia Siegel’s 2017 NAJYR partner, a seasoned 1.40m horse with equitation and dressage experience. “Bubs” has quickly become a favorite of our top riders for his amazing athleticism and great personality. We were also joined by Sinatra’s Ruhm, a top ‘Big Eq’ horse, with wins at the PCHA Finals, who also excels at Dressage (thanks to Julia Stone).

Additionally, two stars of the barn came to us through owners at Windy Hill, with the delightful Rosy (thanks to Jamie Gates) and Prince Charming, “Charlie," (our thanks to Maeve Phelan), and our thanks to a generous anonymous donor who helped purchase a new red-roan AQHA horse for our Western program named “Nacho!”

Going into 2019 we are looking to retire top team horses, Molly and Cozmoz—both are fantastic, but quirky horses, so we know this will be a challenge. (Molly competed in the 1.45m and Cozmoz did World Cup trials, but both have some arthritis.) Additionally, as we look at building and strengthening our Physical Education (P.E.) offerings, as well as build our Western Team, if you know of any amazing Quarter Horses, or would ever be willing to sponsor the purchase of one (they are generally $5,000 or less), please let us know!

IHSA & IDA National Finals

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Finals were held May 3-6 in Harrisburg, PA, at the historic Harrisburg Farm Show Complex. The IHSA is comprised of over 400 varsity and club collegiate teams, with the top 16 qualifying through the Regional and Zone Finals to compete for the Collegiate Cup. Representing IHSA Zone 8 (USHJA Zone 10), Stanford University won their 13th straight Zone Finals, affording them the chance to be one of the top 16 teams competing for a National title.

Stanford's Dressage Team sent a full team to the IDA National Finals for the first time in a half a dozen years, with three individual riders competing as well. In addition to the Team's historic 6th place finish (the highest in program history), Abby Fleischli took home two Reserve National Championships (in Individual and Team First Level), the highest place of a Stanford Dressage rider in history.

To read the full article about our Hunt Seat Team:

To read the full article about our Dressage Team:

Supporting the Program

The Red Barn and Stanford Equestrian Programs are self-funded, with no monetary support from Stanford University or the Department of Athletics. While the Equestrian Team charges a nominal user fee (the same cost as when I was a student on the team 20 years ago!), participation is 'need blind' so that students on financial aid can get assistance in covering those fees. Last year 60% of the Team was on some form of financial aid or scholarship.

*Building our endowment: We have raised almost $600,000 towards our $5,000,000 goal to fully endow the Equestrian Programs! Gifts small or large, including multi-year pledges, are always appreciated! We also have naming opportunities such as:
$50,000 to name a stall
$250,000 to name a tack room or locker room
$1,000,000 to name the Assistant Coaching position
$3,000,000 to name the Head Coaching position (i.e. the Jane Doe Director of Equestrian)

A single, or multiyear, endowment pledge of $50K provides annual revenue for one athletes on scholarship to participate at no cost, or two horses to get all needed veterinary care each year in perpetuity!

*Equestrian Team Annual Fund: Each year we raise about $40,000 to cover the cost of Post-Season travel, as well as financial aid for dues. Last year we sent eight athletes and two coaches to Harrisburg for a week for the IHSA National Finals, four athletes and one coach to Lake Erie College for the IDA Finals and two riders and a coach to New York for the Semi-Finals! This year travel will take us to Florida, New York and New Jersey! It is a Herculean effort to get us all their without leaving any athletes behind for financial reasons.

*Dressage Arena Campaign: Now that our Covered Arena and Red Barn Roof are completed, we will begin the process of assessing our Dressage Arena (i.e. the feasibility of a roof vs. all new footing). More details to come soon!

And, as always, what we appreciate as much as anything are alumni who come back to help warm-up ride at shows, the families who volunteer to bring food to shows, and the volunteers who help put on everything from our Festival to the Tack Sale! For more info on getting involved, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Gifts can be made online at and choosing:
-Stanford Athletics
-Other Designation
-GARDC: Equestrian

New Team Athletes - Seven new student athletes from three countries

While Stanford's Equestrian Team has remained a Club Sport and we have little to no sway in the admissions process, we are so thrilled that dozens of talented student athletes have managed to be in the 4.65% admitted! This year nearly four dozen potential riders came out to the Barn through our Invitational and Walk-on Tryouts in the Fall. Meet those who were selected below! To see all of our team's riders you can visit our full roster on the website here!

Thank you!!

A big thanks to photographer Damian Marhefka, equine chiropractor Jamie Lucia, the veterinarians at Bayhill Equine, and farrier Steve Wiberg for all they do for us!

In addition, we are so grateful for our longtime sponsors: CWD Sellier, GPA Helmets, Kastel Denmark, EquiFit, Equitex, Ariat, Sterling Essentials, ELLA, and Heritage Gloves!

Press release provided by Stanford Equestrian Team.