Shelby Such and Jill Cohen create Lancer Equestrian Team


Junior Shelby Such participates in horseback riding with the Orange County Interscholastic Equestrian League. Photos Courtesy of Shelby Such.

Lena McEachern, Editor-in-Chief

For athletes, the pride of getting to represent one’s school is essential. It’s why football players love giving their teachers jerseys and why basketball players strive to see full stands. For juniors Jill Cohen and Shelby Such, it’s why the excitement that comes when the voice of an announcer shouts, “Riding for Carlsbad High School” matters. 

For horseback riders Such and Cohen, this opportunity to represent the school is exactly why they worked to create the Lancer Equestrian Team, which lets student horseback riders compete and participate in the Orange County Interscholastic Equestrian League (OCIEL). Such presented her idea for the team to the principal, Dr. Bryan Brockett, and completed membership forms with the OCIEL to create the team.

“I wanted to start the equestrian team because it would provide equestrians at Carlsbad the ability to represent their school while gaining more experience in the show ring with people their own age,” Such said. 

Although a previous Lancer Equestrian team had already existed, Such and Cohen worked together to resurrect it. For Cohen, her reasons for helping start the team closely resemble Such’s motivations for starting it.

“I wanted a little bit more competition with people my own age,” Cohen said. “The school shows are really cool.” 

Cohen has been horseback riding since the first grade and the sport has always been a major aspect of her life, which enriched her interest in helping to create the team. Although she’s been riding nearly her whole life, the Lancer Equestrian team is the first time she’s been able to ride for school. 

“To me, the sport has helped me with a lot of different things, so it’s definitely a big part of who I am,” Cohen said. “From a young age I’ve had to manage not only my life but another living being’s life and look after something else.” 

Graphic by Lena McEachern

Since the Lancer Equestrian team is a club team and not an official high school team, all members must have their own horse, equipment and trainer to participate. However, riders are associated with their schools at competitions and get to mingle with riders from other schools.

“My favorite part about the team is getting to show with people I know from other schools,” Such said. “I now see friends from SDA, Cathedral and JSerra High School which is really cool.”

While this mix of different schools certainly makes the horse shows competitive, that does not change their enjoyable atmosphere in the eyes of the athletes. Although this is just the first year of the Lancer Equestrian team’s resurrection, Such and Cohen have already begun competing in events. 

“The horse shows are much more dialed down than the county shows which is refreshing,” Such said. “But, you can expect the competition to be the same as A shows, making the shows just a really great and supportive environment.” 

For student riders looking to get involved with the Lancer Equestrian Team, email Jill Cohen or Shelby Such on Schoolloop or speak to Mr. Levitt for more information.