A charming stable with an outdoor ring and riding trails, nestled on the flank of Barrie Schoolʼs 45 acre campus, provides the perfect place for young horse enthusiasts. Our Equestrian Program offers a variety of horse-related activities and lessons in hunt seat equitation for beginner through advanced riders. Students from Primary 3 through grade 12 are welcome to enroll in Fall and/or Spring lessons, regardless of experience. Beginner-level students enrolled in the weekly lesson program will be introduced to the fundamentals of riding and basic horsemanship skills. Advanced-level students will hone their skills through more intricate exercises on the flat and over fences. Elements from hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage disciplines are incorporated into the curriculum. All participants in the program will share some responsibility in caring for the horses, tack, and barn. Special events and opportunities to compete are offered each session.
In stride with the philosophy of Barrie’s Athletic Program, participation in competitive equestrian sports emphasizes skill development and teamwork at all levels. As riders aspire to be in the ribbons, appreciation of one’s equine partner and demonstration of good sportsmanship are valued above all else.
Horse enthusiasts of every age have opportunities to showcase their talents in events on and off campus. For middle and high school students, participation in the equestrian program is counted as an athletic credit. Those who compete under the guidance of the Barrie instructors earn recognition as a varsity athletes. Elementary and primary students who are eager and ready for the challenge may compete in local shows.
Members of the junior varsity and varsity riding teams participate in several equitation leagues. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is nationally recognized. A unique aspect of IEA competitions, both at the local and national level, is the random draw for horses. Competing on unfamiliar mounts levels the playing field and tests each rider’s ability. Scores are based upon horsemanship and equitation. Barrie riders consistently advance through highly competitive post season competitions at the Regional and Zone levels. The Inter-School Horse Show Series (ISHS) provides an avenue to the show ring for those new to competition. Beginner through advance riders compete at appropriate skill levels on the flat and over fences collecting individual and team points. Since the inception of ISHS in 1994, Barrie’s Riding Team has claimed many championship tiles. Most recently, the Junior Varsity Team distinguished themselves as ISHS’s 2017 Year-End High Point Team!
Local shows, clinics, and special events are scheduled around the equitation meet dates. Depending on the event, riders of varying ages and abilities are eligible to participate. With leadline, equitation, hunter, and jumper divisions, the Washington Bridle Trails Association (WBTA) shows and the BEST Horse Show Series are favorite competitions convenient to campus. Many Barrie horses and riders have collected annual year-end awards at each organization’s respective banquet. Occasional clinics provide opportunities for riders to perfect their equitation positions, pick-up pointers on horsemanship, and glean insight from top professionals within the industry.
2017-2018 Competition Calendar
Sept. 24 ISHS at Oatland Stables
Oct. 8 IEA at Oatland Stables / Co-Host Date
Oct. 8 ISHS at NFF Stables
Oct. 14 WBTA at Meadowbrook Stables
Oct. 15 WBTA at Meadowbrook Stables
Oct. 22 IEA at Potomac Stables
Oct. 22 ISHS at Oatland Stables
Oct. 29 IEA at Full Moon Farm
Nov. 5 ISHS at NFF Stables
Nov. 12 IEA at Oatland Stables
Nov. 19 IEA at Full Moon Farm
Nov. 19 ISHS at NFF Stables
Dec. 10 IEA at Oatland Stables
Dec. 10 ISHS at NFF
Dec. 17 IEA at Full Moon Farm
Jan. 14 IEA at Oatland Stables
Jan. 14 ISHS at NFF Stables
Feb. 11 ISHS at NFF Stables
Mar. 3 IEA Regional Finals
Mar. 11 ISHS Year-End Invitational
Mar. 17 IEA Zone Finals
Mar. 18 IEA Zone Finals
Apr. 14 WBTA at Meadowbrook Stables
Apr. 15 WBTA at Meadowbrook Stables
Apr. 14 BEST at PG Equestrian Center
Apr. 20 IEA National Finals
Apr. 21 IEA National Finals
Apr. 22 IEA National Finals
May 12 BEST at PG Equestrian Center
May 19 Barrie End of Year Show
Michael Graham, class of 1992
Owner/Trainer at Volte Farms in Brighton, Colorado.
Graduated from La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a degree in Graphic Design. Served as Senior Graphic Designer and Creative Director at several agencies in Maryland and Colorado before following a dream to make horses his career.
Julie Bigham, class of 2009
Completed her undergraduate degree in 2014 and recently a masters in French Language and Literature from the University of Maryland
Julie graduated from Barrie an avid equestrian and member of the Varsity riding team, participating in ISHS and local shows. She continued riding and showing while attending the University of Maryland and competing on their Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team. Julie remains connected to Barrie, lending her pony, Chances Are, for use in the equestrian program, assisting with transportation to shows, and supporting the program through donations and volunteerism.
Barrie’s horses are valuable resources for both school and camp. They serve as teachers of horsemanship, partners in athletic pursuits, ambassadors for the school, creatures of comfort, and purveyors of valuable life lessons. The equestrian program has been an integral part of Barrie since Founder, Francis Seldon, purchased "The Ranch," now our main campus on Layhill Road, over 60 years ago for students and campers to enjoy and benefit from the company of horses.
As a 501(c)3 Non-Profit, Barrie accepts appropriate horses and ponies donated to the program when space is available. All horses are lovingly cared for by our Equestrian Staff, receiving top notch treatment and individual attention. Appropriate horses are physically and mentally sound and able to be ridden 3-5 times per week in small group lessons.
If you are interested in donating your horse or pony, please contact Sue Wentzel, Director of Camp and Equestrian programs at SWentzel@barrie.org.