TCU Women’s Equestrian
Though some of them wore bejeweled western shirts and white hats, the ladies of TCU’s women’s equestrian team had little else in common with Roy Rogers or Gene Autry. Participants in one of the youngest sports in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the riding Lady Frogs of TCU captured the 2008 national title in team equestrian.
Started in 1998, NCAA equestrian competition requires student-athletes to complete a series of events with a horse randomly chosen only minutes earlier. This challenges riders to not only excel at basic horsemanship, but also be able to learn quickly about the animal and to control it.
TCU began competing in 2006 with a team made up of members who had already gained significant individual honors before coming to Fort Worth. Many of the athletes became attracted to TCU’s team because “the entire atmosphere of Fort Worth is just westerny.”
The equine traditions of Cowtown combined with the natural ability of the Lady Frogs and the instruction of their coach to bring the 2008 equestrian title back to the city “Where the West Begins.” In doing so, TCU became the fastest school in the history of NCAA equestrian competition to advance from no program to winning the national title of best amateur riders in the United States.
The 2008 title also gave TCU its first NCAA team championship since 1983.