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Featured Athlete: Elanna Reavill-O’Toole

Elanna Reavill-O'Toole discusses Equestrian

I had a chance to talk to Elanna Reavill-O’Toole and ask her about her year long activity, Equestrian.

GP: Hi Elanna, thanks for meeting with me, what is your winter afternoon activity?

ER: Actually, that’s an interesting question. I’ve been doing Equestrian off campus all year, but I also picked up JV Basketball this winter to fulfill my on campus requirement, so I’m currently balancing them both.

GP: Would you consider Equestrian to be your main sport for the winter trimester?

Reavil-O’Toole gearing up for a competition on her horse

ER: I would say yes. That’s not to say that Basketball isn’t also a priority (I’ve never actually played basketball before, so I’ve really enjoyed learning and improving), but winter is my main competition season for equestrian, so that’s been really important to me.

GP: How long have you been a part of KUA’s Equestrian activity?

ER: I’m actually not; Amalie Ball and I ride separately and compete in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, which I’ve been competing in for 8 years.

GP: How has equestrian affected your daily life at KUA?

ER: I really appreciate how KUA gives us time for athletics in the winter so that I can make it to the stable before dark. It’s a bit of a drive to get to the stable, but fortunately I’m usually not there too late and it isn’t too difficult to balance. The only real conflict is balancing basketball as well, but my coach has been really helpful in making sure that isn’t too difficult.

GP: What is it like to participate in an afternoon activity that is separate from the regular KUA activities while also participating in an afternoon activity this part of the KUA activities?

ER: The main issue was making sure that I didn’t get injured in Basketball so that I would still be able to compete at Post Season. I did have a bit of a scare at one of the earlier games, but I’ve been really careful and Coach is really helpful in not pushing me to do something that might aggravate an old injury that I have.

GP: What does a regular practice comprise of?

ER: It depends on the discipline we are practicing for (Amalie and I both compete in both Hunt Seat and Western), but typically we’ll warm up independently and then start practicing some of the tests that we can be asked during a competition (like jumping and riding without stirrups).

GP: How often do you have competitions and what do your competitions comprise of?

ER: For the first half of the year, we went to only Hunt Seat competitions, during which we have one class on the flat and one class over jumps we are judged on Equitation, which basically means our posture and the way we look over jumps. We’ve been to 7 hunt seat shows so far. Starting in a few weeks, we’ll also be attending western shows, where there is one flat class and one reining class. We’re still judged on equitation, but the correct posture is different.

GP: What do you like most about Equestrian?

ER: I think the best part about it the the connection that you have as a rider with your horse. It’s really cool to be able to improve and to see your horse improve along with you, and it’s something that I take a lot of pride in and am glad to be a part of.

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