UF Hunt Seat Team Pep Rally
It’s almost time for the University of Florida’s Hunt Seat Division of the Equestrian Team show season.
UF is hosting its region’s first show. It will be at Kimberden Farm in Ocala, Florida. Ocala Breeders’ Feed and Supply is proud that OBS Sport is the feed of choice for Kimberden. As a token of our appreciation, we want to invite the community to join us for a pep rally to kick off their show season and cheer these students on.
Get on your gator colors and come to the second entrance of Kimberden on October 11, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. From the parking, hitch a ride on the ATV’s taking you to the pep rally. Also, there are light refreshments free of charge for attendees. If you would like to stay for dinner, feel free, Cora’s Kitchen food truck will be on-site to purchase dinner and enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful farm.
The Team and The Coaches
The UF Equestrian Team is a club sport at the University of Florida. Students are not on scholarship and do not receive funding for their sport of choice. These riders are on the team because they have dedication, a love for riding and want to compete at a collegiate level. The head coach for UF’s Hunt Seat team is Kim Burnette, owner of Kimberden. In addition, Sharyn Cole and Ashley Berman serve as assistant coaches. Burnette has years of champion rides in the show ring as well as experience working with student riders. “When they leave we want them to be a better rider, but ultimately we are working to develop better people in the equine industry,” said office manager, Kimie Carp.
UF’s Hunt Seat team is part of Zone 5, Region 5, in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). Although there are about 30 student riders, approximately 18 are selected for each show roster. Riders for the show are selected on their level of dedication and on the points they have versus what they need to move up the next level. At the shows, team members ride for individual points as well as team points. Students are required to come ride once a week and have one lesson. The home shows for UF’s team are held at Kimberden, additionally, they hosted the Zone 5 finals in 2017 at the farm as well.
In 2018-2019 the team finished third in Region 5. Carol Hayes, currently the team captain, was on that team. But the history with this student is one of the many special stories that come from the student’s time at Kimberden. Carol rode up to her senior year of high school. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected family illness, Carol would not have been able to compete in her senior year without a sponsor. Kim Burnette stepped in and chose Hayes as the student she would sponsor that year. This allowed Carol to ride and compete her senior year. Upon graduation, Carol went to the University of Florida and became a working student at Kimberden so she can ride and compete on the UF team. Her dedication paid off and she finished the 2017-18 season as the National Champion for her division.
Kimberden is home to 72 horses. Some are retired, there are draft horses for their Horse Country Carriage Company and Tours, and show horses. Most of the horses on the farm are owned by Burnette, a few outside horses are stabled at the farm. Kimberden provides all the horses for the UF team members to have lessons on as well as the horses for the show. OBFS is proud that OBS Sport is the feed of choice for all the horses on the farm.
The traditional horse show participant hauls the horse to the show, pays entry fees and shows a horse they are used to riding. The IHSA horse shows work is different. On show day all student riders from various schools draw numbers. Those numbers are assigned to a horse that is provided by the host. Their draw lets them know what horse they are riding. No warm-up is allowed, they simply get on and ride. Horses may go up to 5 times for rides during the show.
Come Join the Fun
OBFS invites you to the pep rally on October 11, 2019, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Come out and support the University of Florida’s Hunt Seat Team as they kick off the first show in Region 5 for the 2019-2020 season.