About the Team

The UBC Thunderbirds Equestrian Sport Club competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). We are part of Zone 8, Region 4 including Washington and Oregon where most of our competitions take place. UBC is one of only 7 Canadian Universities part of the IHSA, which consists of a total of 419 teams across North America. The Equestrian team is currently showing in the Hunt Seat sector of the IHSA. After two successive trips to National Finals in 2016 and 2017, we are looking forward to additional team results in the new academic year.

Showing in the IHSA allows riders to continue their passion for the Equestrian Sport in university. Since it is not always feasible to own a horse while at school, the IHSA supports the ability to show on provided horses, exemplifying equitation and rider abilities. Joining our team gives the opportunity to travel and build team relationships with other student riders, as we engage in team practices, activities, and of course, the shows. Sportsmanship is a huge part of the IHSA, and as a result we gain connections with many other students from a variety of universities.

Eligibility Requirements: 

The IHSA has 8 levels of hunt seat riding, from the Walk-Trot flat class to Open over fences. Since our show format is catch riding, (i.e. we do not get warm up time before our judged round or flat class, and usually have never ridden the horses before) we recommend some previous riding experience even for the lower divisions. The more practice riders are able to get on different horses, the better they will become at showing IHSA. Riders will be required to attend mandatory lessons and meetings, and should also organize their own additional riding practice. Riders will also be required to attend a minimum of two horse shows per year and are responsible for their own basic show attire: black tall boots, tan breeches, white show shirt, black or navy hunter show jacket, and black riding helmet.

Try Outs: 

  • Stay tuned for 2017 dates

Team Fees: 

  • 2017 Fees TBA

Practice Schedule:

Athletes are required to ride at least once per week with a regular lesson schedule. We will soon be announcing our coach for the 2017-18 school year.

While additional riding is always highly recommended, we will also be hosting several IHSA theory nights in preparation for our show season.

Competition Schedule:

  • Regional shows in Washington/Oregon:
    • Approximately 5-7 competition days in October, November, January, and February
    • Final dates TBA
  • Regional Finals in Washingon/Oregon
    • February/March
  • Zone Finals at Stanford University
    • Early April
  • National Finals in Lexington, Kentucky
    • Early May

In the 2015-2016 show season, two of our riders qualified to compete at both Zone and National Finals. Natalie Nahirney was the Regional High Point rider in the Open division, and represented Zone 8 Region 4 in the Cacchione Cup at Nationals, with a finish in the top 20. Claire Anderson qualified for Regional finals in the Intermediate Flat division. She was Champion at Regionals, and proceeded to win Reserve Champion at both Zone 8 Finals, and National Finals.

In 2017, Natalie and Claire were the Regional Champions in Open Flat and Intermediate Fences, respectively. Also defending her Cacchione Cup qualification, Natalie was Open Flat Champion at Stanford Zone Finals, and finished 9th at Nationals. Claire rode to a Reserve Champion in Intermediate Fences, and a 7th place finish at Nationals.

UBC Equestrian was previously an AMS club with a competitive component. The AMS Club still exists as an equestrian community at UBC, but no longer contains the IHSA show team. The 2015-2016 season was the first year our team qualified for IHSA Regional, Zone, and National finals.

Name Position Email
Claire Anderson Finance Officer, Travel & Safety, Head Coach equestrian.sc@ubc.ca
Natalie Nahirney Club Lead, Marketing and Communication equestrian.sc@ubc.ca

Levels of Competition:

Class 1: Walk-Trot Hunter Seat Equitation
Walk-Trot riders are those who have had no more than 24 weeks of instruction and who have not competed in a mounted competition which required them to canter. Diagonals will count.

Class 2: Walk-Trot-Canter Hunter Seat Equitation
2A: Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter
2B Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter
Eligible for class 2A are those who have had more than 24 weeks of instruction and who have not competed in a mounted competition that required them to jump more than eighteen inches. Leads and diagonals count. 2B riders have not competed in any over fences classes higher than three feet in any competition, nor competed in any recognized competitions.

Class 3: Novice Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat
Those who have won no more than five Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 4: Novice Hunter Seat Equitation over Fences
Novice riders over fences have won no more than six classes in any over fences class three feet (3’) or higher in recognized competitions. Riders must have had at least six months continuous professional instruction over fences within the past year. To be shown over six or more fences at least 2′ 3″ in height and not to exceed 2′ 9″, and including at least one change of direction.

Class 5: Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat
Intermediate riders on the flat are those who have won six to ten Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 6: Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation over Fences
Intermediate riders over fences have won no more than six classes in any over fences class three feet, six inches (3’6”) or higher in recognized competitions.To be shown over six or more fences at least 2′ 6″ in height and not to exceed 3′, including at least one change of direction.

Class 7: Open Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat
Open riders on the flat are those who have won more than ten Hunter Seat equitation classes on the flat in recognized competitions.

Class 8: Open Hunter Seat Equitation over Fences
Open riders over fences are those who have won more than six classes in any over fences class three feet, six inches (3’6”) or higher in recognized competitions. To be shown over six or more fences at least 2′ 9″ in height and not to exceed 3′ 3″ in height and 3′ in width including at least one change of direction.




UBC Thunderbirds Sport Clubs - Equestrian
Student Recreation Centre
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1


604-822-3683 equestrian.sc@ubc.ca

Latest News

IHSA National Championships 2017

UBC TSC Equestrian congratulates executives Claire Anderson and Nat Nahirney on their second consecutive trip to the IHSA National Championships in Lexington, Kentucky! On Thursday, May 4th, Claire and Nat arrived in the early morning for the coaches meeting at Kentucky Horse Park. Claire was first...

UBC TSC Equestrian Season Wrap-Up 2017

    To top off the competition season, UBC Equestrian held a year-end team ride at Riverside Equestrian Centre on March 24th. Our riders participated in mini-IHSA classes led by trainer and volunteer IHSA coach Linda English, who awarded scores and provided feedback to riders from our Flat...

Regional Champions

Congratulations to Nat Nahirney and Claire Anderson on their successive Regional Championship wins in Woodburn, Oregon! On Saturday, March 11th, six UBC Equestrian team members rode in a small points show, hosted by University of Oregon, with Nat and Claire qualifying to compete in Regionals later t...

Equestrian Team Braves the Storm

  On Saturday, February 4th, Equestrian Team braved an unexpected snowstorm to compete with five other universities in Lynden, Washington. Despite the weather, Western Washington University hosted a fantastic show with great horses and a lovely (indoor) venue where fifteen UBC Equestrian riders...

High Point Wins at University of Oregon

Equestrian Team returned from the first two-day show of the season, held on January 28 and 29 in Portland, Oregon, with highly competitive results: riders Nat Nahirney and Claire Anderson were awarded High Point Champion and Reserve High Point Champion, respectively, and UBC Equestrian Team won Rese...