High School Equestrian Sports Flourishing

High School Equestrian Sports Flourishing

By Elizabeth Cummins and Kelley Varisco

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It has been five years since Covington High School officially began to recognize equestrians as high school athletes by offering an athletic letter in equestrian sports. Covington’s team was founded in 2010 and based its criteria upon the guidelines established by (USEF) United States Equestrian Federation’s High School athlete program. Once word got out about Covington High’s equestrian team, enthusiasm for the program abounded on the Northshore. Other schools followed suit to start their own programs, using Covington’s criteria to develop their own lettering expectations.

Several of our SEDA junior riders benefit from these programs and are on their way, earning a varsity letter for their chosen sport. These programs are very beneficial to young riders who want to participate at the collegiate level. Furthermore, students who show varsity team experience can build better college resumes and show the well-roundedness that colleges seek in prospective students.

Each school varies slightly with requirements to letter; however, they all require one or more of these general expectations of their athletes:

  • Riders must log a certain number of hours in the saddle
  • Riders must participate in a specific number of shows per year
  • Riders must provide volunteer service hours
  • Riders are encouraged to join an Equestrian affiliation (i.e., USEF, USDF, AQHA, USEA, SEDA, SLHJA)
  • Riders must maintain a specific GPA

Important Things to Note

High schools DO NOT provide lessons, trainers, boarding, or horses for students. The programs have been developed to acknowledge and reward student athletes that are currently participating in equestrian sports. Local teams on the Northshore include: Covington High School (est. 2010), Mandeville High School (est. 2013), Christ Episcopal School (est. 2013), and Lakeshore High School (est. 2015).


If you are a student at one of the above schools, participate in equestrian sports, and would like to receive a high school letter for your riding, please contact your school’s team sponsor. If you are a student at a high school without a program and would like to start an equestrian team, please feel free to contact the above schools and their sponsors for more information and support.

Many of us older riders and/or parents would have loved such an opportunity to letter in horseback riding. SEDA members: I ask you to contact these schools and thank them for encouraging and supporting Equestrian Athletes. We need to continue to grow throughout St. Tammany Parish and our state.

Who to Contact

Covington High School
Kelley Varisco: kvarischo11@gmail.com

Mandeville High School
Lauri Byerley: lbyerley@msn.com

Christ Episcopal School
Kristie Cato: kristiecato@yahoo.com

Lakeshore High School
Kendall Richter: krichter@christepiscopalschool.org

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