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The team connects horses and riders with the horse industry.

Elizabeth Hodges, Staff Writer

March 14, 2024

7 Slides

Horses are important to Nebraskans, whether we are talking about working horses on the ranch; rodeo or team roping horses; racehorses; or horses used by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln equestrian team.

The 2022 Census of Agriculture found that 6,371 farms in Nebraska had horses, and there are more than 38,000 horses and ponies in the state — along with 2,245 mules, burros and donkeys.

That said, equestrian sports are among the oldest in existence, and they require — just like in rodeo and in working horse situations on the ranch — a special bond between the horse and the rider.

Nebraska Farmer attended the last regular-season competition for the UNL equestrian team at R.B. Warren Arena at East Campus in Lincoln. The UNL team has now finished its regular season and has begun the postseason for 2024. This season, the team has experienced a lot of success throughout different divisions.

Their hard work paid off at the regional competition when they had five students qualify for semifinals. Tabby Cassidy, Izzi Velinsky, Christen Curtis, Sarah Cox and Anna Lampereur all will be representing UNL at the next level.

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) allows students to travel the country to demonstrate their horsemanship abilities and connect them to the horse industry.

Related:5 tips for selecting a horse for young riders

Click through the slideshow to learn more about UNL’s equestrian sports.

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About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Hodges

Staff Writer, Farm Progress

Growing up on a third-generation purebred Berkshire hog operation, Elizabeth Hodges of Julian, Neb., credits her farm background as showing her what it takes to be involved in the ag industry. She began her journalism career while in high school, reporting on producer progress for the Midwest Messenger newspaper.

While a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she became a Husker Harvest Days intern at Nebraska Farmer in 2022. The next year, she was hired full time as a staff writer for Farm Progress. She plans to graduate in 2024 with a double major in ag and environmental sciences communications, as well as animal science.

Being on the 2022 Meat Judging team at UNL led her to be on the 2023 Livestock Judging team, where she saw all aspects of the livestock industry. She is also in Block and Bridle and has held different leadership positions within the club.

Hodges’ father, Michael, raises hogs, and her mother, Christy, is an ag education teacher and FFA advisor at Johnson County Central. Hodges is the oldest sibling of four.

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