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Equestrian Team Comes to Northwood

Northwood’s athletic prowess is well known on the slopes and ice, but what if your interests lie outside the school’s traditional strengths? Sophomore Rachel Rosner and Freshman Ellie Colby suggest you forge your own path.  These two student-athletes arrived at Northwood with a passion for horses and have been relentless in their quest to add an equestrian team to the school’s competitive lineup – just ask Head of School Mike Maher.

“In creating a Northwood equestrian program from scratch, Ellie and Rachel demonstrated all of the qualities that we want in our students — tenacity, intelligence, passion, and hard work. They were a pleasure to work with and we are a better place as a result of having such talented kids in our student body!”

Competition Team Open to All

Beginning in the Fall of 2018, Northwood’s first equestrian team will debut on the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) circuit, riding out of Iron Valley Equestrian Center, located in Ausable Forks, N.Y.  The team will be coached by equine veterinarian and accomplished equestrian Dr. Kate Donis and is open to both girls and boys, with no riding experience necessary.

The barriers to entry into IEA competition are minimal as the host barn provides the horses for the event and each rider’s horse is chosen by random draw.  This structure levels the competitive field and tests the horsemanship of the contestants. Points are tracked for individual rider accomplishments and for overall, team accomplishments, with both earning points to qualify for regional, zone and national finals. The competition season starts September 1 and ends at the national finals in late spring / early summer.

Lake Placid Equestrian History

The history of riding in Lake Placid goes back to the beginnings of the Lake Placid Club. By the early 1900s, the Club enjoyed more than 30 miles of bridle trails managed by the Lake Placid Riding Club and 40 horses for members to ride – there were even some organized competitions on horseback known as gymkhana.  In 1969, the first Lake Placid Horse Show was held, and now almost 50 years later, it is considered one of the premier stops on the nation's hunter-jumper horse show circuit.

For more information about Northwood’s equestrian team, contact Mara Niefer at