NCAA Continues Support of Collegiate Equestrian
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association will work closely with the National Collegiate Athletic Association to maintain women's equestrian as a Division I sport.
July 15, 2015
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association, the association that oversees the sport of equestrian for women at the collegiate level, has received notification of continued support from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for the sport of Division I Collegiate Equestrian, which currently is on the NCAA’s list of Emerging Sports for Women.
The NCAA’s new Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, as part of the NCAA Division I Council, recently reviewed the September 2014 recommendation from the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics to remove equestrian from the list of emerging sports for women in Division I athletics.
The SVPC voted to table the CWA’s recommendation at its recent June 22, 2015, meeting, helping to ensure that equestrian remains a viable sport within the NCAA structure and will continue to function and flourish as a Division I collegiate sport. The committee noted that although equestrian, after 13 years, does not meet the minimum NCAA standards as a sport, they believe that further discussions are warranted. The SVPC plans to look specifically at student-athlete participation and opportunities that equestrian and other sports offer.
“We look forward to working closely with the NCAA to support the growth of equestrian,” said Dr. Leah Holland Fiorentino, NCEA executive director. “This is the first step in cultivating new programs at universities across the nation.”
Equestrian is still an NCAA emerging sport and is governed by the NCAA Division I manual. In addition, the Emerging Sport Subcommittee of the CWA is engaged in discussions about the emerging sport process this summer.
With more than 20,000 supporters in recent social media responses, the NCEA offers more than 800 female student-athletes the opportunity to represent their universities in equestrian competition.
“This is a huge step forward for the sport of equestrian and the numerous opportunities the NCEA offers female student-athletes,” NCEA President Meghan Boenig said. “We have a lot more work to do, however this is very exciting news. I encourage everyone to stay involved as we continue to move forward.”
Equestrian was established in 2002 as a NCAA emerging sport with only six schools participating. Since the CWA’s recommendation in fall 2014, the NCEA has structurally reorganized, installed an executive director and collaborated with the NCEA National Advisory Board. The NAB is committed to elevating and advancing Equestrian to the most sustainable and strongest of all NCAA women’s sports and plans to make equestrian the first non-revenue generating sport to be financially independent. At this time, the NCAA recognizes 22 colleges and universities sponsoring equestrian intercollegiate programs.
For more information about the NCEA, visit www.collegiateequestrian.com.