State Equestrian Team is ready for the 2010-11 season and is very
optimistic about the administrative changes that are taking place.
Dr. Becky Malmo recently resigned as head coach of the Equestrian Team to pursue a career in the Fresno County Office of Education. Assistant coaches Stephanie Reeves and Julia Scrivani will be taking the reins for the upcoming season and co-coaching the women's Equestrian Team. Both coaches feel Dr. Malmo instilled a solid foundation for the Equestrian Team and they hope to continue to build on that basis.
The coaches do not want to make a lot of changes in the upcoming season. Scrivani will continue to oversee the English side of the team and be the main instructor for Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences. Dr. Malmo previously focused on coaching the Horsemanship discipline and Reeves will be taking over that duty. Alumni Keri Blackledge will be joining the Equestrian team as a guest coach for the season and will be assisting Reeves in providing help for the Reining discipline of the team. The office work will be split amongst the coaches evenly as well as with the graduate assistant, Brenda Donat.
"Our goal is to keep a majority of the team the same and maintain the same feel that has always been there," said Reeves.
The coaches are very excited about the 2010-11 season and having all of the student-athletes return to start practice. The student-athletes will all return to Fresno by Friday, August 20, for their first meeting. The first meeting will include a team orientation where the parents and athletes will meet the coaching staff as well as the rest of the athletic department staff. The student-athletes will then get their individual photos taken as well as their first team photo for the season. The following day will consist of horse safety testing at the Student Horse Center followed by a welcome back BBQ at 4:30p.m. hosted by the Equestrian booster club, The Saddle Club. The next day, Sunday, will be filled with physicals and compliance meetings administered by Athletics department officials. The action packed weekend will end with the annual welcome back BBQ for all Fresno State student athletes on Sunday evening.
"We have lots of depth on the team which is very exciting," said Scrivani "We are very excited for practice to start and look forward to seeing all of this year's talent in the arena."
The coaching staff is not the only change the Equestrian Team is experiencing this season. The Student Horse Center has received numerous changes as well. The Equestrian Team purchased all new jumps to be used for the Equitation over Fences competition. They also set up a new PA system and lights in the arena to be used at this season's competitions. The Student Horse Center also had ten new stalls built to house the team's horses and re-did the area where the women tack up the horses for practice.
"I am excited to take the reins with Julia as a coach and as a friend and lead this team with everything Dr. Malmo left behind and continue its excellence," said Reeves.
The first day of competition will be an inter-squad scrimmage held at the Student Horse Center on Saturday, September 25. The competitions are free and open to the public.
"There are going to be great things in store for this season," said Scrivani.