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Q&A with 2018-2019 equestrian captains: Maddy Benfield, Ella Frey

Senior+equestrian+captains+Ella+Frey+and+Maddy+Benfield+smile+and+pose+together+during+x-block.+This+is+the+second+year+that+the+two+girls+are+captains.
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Q&A with 2018-2019 equestrian captains: Maddy Benfield, Ella Frey

Senior equestrian captains Ella Frey and Maddy Benfield smile and pose together during x-block. This is the second year that the two girls are captains.

Senior equestrian captains Ella Frey and Maddy Benfield smile and pose together during x-block. This is the second year that the two girls are captains.

Photo credit: Liz Haltrecht

Senior equestrian captains Ella Frey and Maddy Benfield smile and pose together during x-block. This is the second year that the two girls are captains.

Photo credit: Liz Haltrecht

Photo credit: Liz Haltrecht

Senior equestrian captains Ella Frey and Maddy Benfield smile and pose together during x-block. This is the second year that the two girls are captains.

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On an early October morning, each equestrian team member prepared for the first show of the year by putting on a hairnet, helmet, show coat and clean boots. Equestrian started its yearlong season back in October, with the group’s first show taking place on Oct. 28 at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center. This year’s captains are seniors Ella Frey and Maddy Benfield.

The Oracle sat down with both equestrian captains to discuss ideas ranging from this year’s goals to frustrations of underrepresentation as a sport in the Archer community.

What inspired you to join Archer’s equestrian team and start riding?

Maddy Benfield [MB]: What inspired me to join the team is probably just the fact that I ride and I wanted to see what Archer’s team was like. I’ve always loved animals from a very young age, and I was very interested in it when I was going to summer camp — and then I wanted to start riding more seriously.

Ella Frey [EF]: I’ve been riding since I was four or five years old and been showing competitively for a long time. So when I moved to Archer, I wanted to be a part of the team and meet people that share the same passion.

What do you hope to achieve this year for the team as a whole?

MB: I hope that we can get closer, and I hope that we can make ourselves more known on campus.

EF: I think as a whole, just raising awareness for the community of equestrian as a sport and how much time and dedication we all put in. I think it can be challenging because we all practice individually, so it’s not like we collectively go on a bus and go to a field, but I think just really bonding as a team and working together.

What are your goals for the year?

MB: Definitely one of our main goals is to have more time spent together as a team and to try to get together outside of school and stuff like that so we can continue to grow together. And, [we want to] help the community know who we are also.

EF: Yeah, I think, like before, just bonding together as a team maybe having more team meet-ups. I think it’s hard because everyone’s circumstances [change] with horses. They are pretty unpredictable, so [a horse] can be hurt, and you can’t go to shows. So I think, just getting to know each other and having a lot of team spirit is important.

Is it frustrating that equestrian is less known about in the Archer community?

MB: It can be frustrating, but it’s definitely something that you have to be super passionate about to want to learn about and to be open to learning about. So, if people are curious about it, I am always willing to tell them about it. But yeah, definitely — it can sometimes be frustrating that not everyone knows that there is even an equestrian team here at Archer.

EF: I mean, it can be really frustrating. I miss a lot of school for equestrian and I think sometimes not everyone understands what exactly I’m doing and how much work it takes to ride and show at IEL or other shows.

What is your favorite part about being captain?

MB: I like being captain because I get to meet all the other girls on the team and plan things. I feel like in the past, captains haven’t really tried to make our team cohesive, so it’s definitely been nice to be in a position where I can do that.

EF: I think getting to meet a lot of different classmen and especially it’s fun, in group settings, to talk about horses, which you don’t really do day-to-day with your friend group, so that’s really nice.

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About the Contributor
Liz Haltrecht, Culture Editor

Liz Haltrecht joined the Oracle staff in 2016 and remained a contributing writer in 2017. She is so excited to take on the role of Culture Editor in the...

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