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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Palm Coast Teen to ride with the NCAA Equestrian Team

by Sheri Bradfield | Palm Coast, FL

TCU equestrian coach Gary Reynolds announced the addition of Caitlin Ader to the equestrian program.

Caitlin Ader, of Palm Coast, Florida recently signed a National Letter of Intent to ride with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) equestrian team at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
" Having competed at nationally ranked shows, Caitlin Ader will add great depth to our roster."
Assistant Coach Kindel Huffman

Ader, who participated in the 2010 Zone 4 Emerging Athletes Program, brings a wealth of show experience to TCU as she has competed nationally in United States Equestrian Federation AA rated shows, garnering numerous first-place finishes. The Florida native, who will don the Purple and White after winning the 2009 Atlanta Cup Equitation Challenge, recently captured the 2010 Children's High Jumper Classics at both the Jacksonville Winter Series and HITS Ocala.

The daughter of Sheri Bradfield of Palm Coast, Caitlin began riding and aquired her first pony when she was apout 6 years old. She trains with Donald Stewart, Jr. a top equitation and jumper trainer in Ocala, Florida. After attending St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Palm Coast through the eighth grade, Caitlin was homeschooled to better accomodate her rigorous training and showing schedule.

A college equestrian team has about two dozen riders, but only eight women from each college ride in each competition — four on the flat and four over jumps. The host college provides all the mounts for both teams, and horses are drawn by lot. The riders' performances are graded by judges, as in gymnastics, figure skating, or diving. Riders for each competition are chosen by the coaches, based on performance in practice during the week preceding the show.

The nationally ranked TCU equestrian squad made program history at nationals last month, wrapping up competition in fourth-place in the final team standings at the 2010 Varsity Equestrian National Championships. The fourth-place finish is the highest placing for a Horned Frog squad at nationals.

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