About the Hunt Seat Team
The Hunt Seat team trains with Cassie Belmont, of Belmont Training Stables. We use her facility and horses at her barn in Watsonville, about 30 minutes from campus. Cassie also coaches an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Team, the middle school/high school equivalent of IHSA. Students who have their own horses are welcome to board them at Cassie's but are not allowed to ride their own horse in team competitions.
The Hunt Seat team of the UC Santa Cruz Equestrian team competes in Hunter Seat Equitation, judged on a rider's skill, position, and effectiveness, on the flat and over fences. Competition levels vary from beginning walk/trot classes to 3'3" Open Fences courses. We compete with the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) which strives to be affordable for college students, and as such uses catch riding. During each competition, each rider selects a random horse they have no practice with, and shows without a warm up. In order to be eligible for IHSA sanctioned competition, horses must be experienced and well trained enough for anyone to be able to ride them.
Regionals, Zones, and Nationals
At the end of each class, flat or fences, first to sixth place is awarded. Each placing is worth a sliding scale of points, first being worth 7, second being worth 5, and each other placing decreasing one point thereafter. In order to point out of a division and move up riders must earn a total of 35 points , with the exception of Beginning Walk/Trot/Canter and Advanced Walk/Trot/Canter riders who only need 18 points to point out. Points are reset every year for open classes, these riders cannot point out of their division, but can qualify for Regionals, Zones, and the Cacchione Cup. If a rider points out of a division, or earns 35 points, they qualify for Regionals near the end of the season. Riders who place first or second at regionals qualify for Zones, and those who place first or second at Zones qualify for Nationals.