By Tess Leighty ’25 and Sophie Rose ’26

As the barn doors close on another exhilarating equestrian show season, the RPI Equestrian Team stands tall, embodying the spirit of excellence, dedication, and passion for the sport. This season has been nothing short of extraordinary for the team, as they galloped through competitions with grace, skill, and an unwavering commitment to success.

The RPI Equestrian Team, a collective of talented and devoted riders from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is not just a team: we are a tight-knit community bound by a shared love for horses and a commitment to achieving greatness. Comprised of riders of diverse skill levels, from the seasoned open competitors to the determined walk-trot riders, the team thrives on mutual support, camaraderie, and the pursuit of excellence both in and out of the show ring. Leading the team is coach Megan Rogers, an Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) alum and owner of Graystone Stables. We are proud to serve our team as captains and we both compete in the intermediate division of the IHSA.

The 2024 show season has been a resounding success for the team, with riders consistently delivering outstanding performances across multiple divisions. Competing in the IHSA, our team faced the unique challenge of drawing horses at random, showcasing our adaptability, versatility, and skills.

Overall, the successes of the RPI Equestrian Team are many. Six riders qualified for regionals in their divisions and competed at Skidmore in March against other regional schools. Speaking of the region, RPI placed 3rd overall as a team, behind the varsity teams from Skidmore and SUNY Cobleskill. The team’s open division rider, Shayna Kupersmith, placed 4th in the Cacchione Cup, a prestigious award given to the open rider with the highest number of points. Of those who qualified for the post-season competition, two were freshmen: open rider Shayna Kupersmith and limit rider Kara Luther. Shayna placed 6th over fences and 3rd in flat. Kara was 1st over fences and 3rd in flat, qualifying her to Zones. At Zones held at LIU, Kara proudly placed 4th. Among the qualifiers are also seniors Arden Adamo, who placed 6th for introductory walk-trot, and Ava Clemenzi, who placed fifth for novice. We also had Molly McMorris compete in novice and placed 8th.

Beyond the show ring, the success of the RPI Equestrian Team resonates throughout the campus and local community. The team’s achievements are a source of pride for fellow students, faculty, and supporters who have witnessed our journey and triumphs. The team’s impact extends beyond the equestrian community, serving as ambassadors for RPl’s commitment to excellence and sportsmanship. We all pride ourselves on our ability to balance rigorous academics along with collegiate athletics at such a prestigious school.

Overall, the RPI Equestrian Team’s 2024 show season has been a testament to the unwavering dedication, skill, and collective spirit of the entire team. As we prepare for post-season competitions, the team stands on the brink of further success, symbolizing the triumphs that come from a blend of passion, perseverance, and a shared love for the equestrian arts. The RPI Equestrian Team is not just riding to win; they are riding to inspire and carve their place in the annals of collegiate equestrian history.

To view this season’s complete results, visit the RPI Equestrian team’s website.