PAXTON, Mass - The Anna Maria College Athletic Department has announced that equestrian will be added as a sport, beginning with the 2018-19 season, according to Director of Athletics Serge DeBari.
The team will call Holiday Acres Equestrian Center in Rutland, Mass home. Holiday Acres is a private facility that is family oriented offering indoor and outdoor riding arenas, turn out paddocks, licensed riding instructors and more. They specialize in boarding, lessons and camp programs for all ages. Their range of programs are built for everyone, including Horse Lovers, entry level horse riders, and advanced equestrian riders. Prospective students will be able to get a tour of the facilities upon request.
It has been announced that Lorene Farrar, the Assistant Director of Online Programs at Anna Maria, will be the equestrian program's director. Geralyn Szczurko, competitive riding instructor at Holiday Acres has been named the program's first head coach.
"We are excited to have Geralyn on board." Athletic Director Serge DeBari said. "Her exstensive and impressive experience as a rider and instructor are something not a lot of start up programs are able to obtain and we did just that. We look forward to seeing where coach Szczurko will take our equestrian team."
Program Director Lorene Farrar has been at Anna Maria College for over 20 years. Horseback riding is a sport she has always admired. She began taking lessons seven years ago in Paxton, Mass and she rides every week.
"I am grateful the for the opportunity to help build the Equestrian Club here at Anna Maria College." Farrar Said. "I am looking forward to working with Coach Szczurko, to provide a great opportunity for our students."
Head Coach Geralyn Szczurko has been a competitive riding instructor at Holiday Acres Equestrian Center since 2005. She has also served as the head coach for the Wachusett Equestrian Team since 2008. A trainer of all competitive riders and show horses, Geralyn is also the Regional President for Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Zone 1 and manages all activities in IEA Region 4 of Zone 1. Coach Szczurko is a graduate of Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, N.Y. where she earned her BBA in Equine Business Management. She was a member of the Varsity Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team from 1999-2003.
"Coaching is my #1 passion and I am thrilled to be a part of this new venture for the college." Coach Szczurko said. " I am looking forward to what the future holds for the Anna Maria ISHA Equestrian Team!"
The focus of the program will be to learn and improve horseback riding skills while participating in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competitions. The team will be composed of both women and men who are interested in riding and competing. It will be a college organized, mostly student funded program. Weekly schedules for team members will include mandatory meetings as well as two lessons or private sessions.
The team will compete with colleges in the IHSA Region I with competitions being held on Saturdays during the Fall and Spring.
For more information on the program and how you can get involved for the 2018-2019 season contact Program Director Lorene Farrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 849-3371.