Jennifer Ridgely is in her 11th season as the head coach of the Delaware State University equestrian team.
During the 2015-16 season, she took the progam to new heights, earning United Equestrian Cionference Coach-of-the-Year honors in the process.
The Hornet English and Western teams were selected to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association championships for the first time in 2016.
DSU's journey to the national championship tournament included victories over three teams that also competed for the 2016 tournament title.
The Hornets posted wins over defending national champ South Carolina, New Mexico State and SMU, which each was nationally-ranked this season. The victories helped key the Hornets' appearance in the national Top 10 poll for the first time in team history.
While a number of riders have contributed to Delaware State's 2015-16 success, senior Brooke Moore and soph. Hayley Anderson stood out the most.
Moore was named 2016 NCEA All-America First Team, becoming the second rider in school history to earn the honor. She is one of four collegians nationwide to receive first team recognition in the discipline of Horsemanship.
During the 2015-16 season, Moore garnered Most Outstanding Performer awards for Horsemanship in competitions against nationally-ranked SMU and Tennessee-Martin. She also had winning rides in Hornet victories over defending champ South Carolina, SMU and New Mexico State.
The Dover, Del., native also posted winning scores in Horsemanship and Reining against Georgia and Sacred Heart. She was also undefeated in the United Equestrian Conference Tournament.
Anderson (New Boston, N.H.) received 2016 NCEA All-America Honorable Mention recognition in Equitation over Fences. She was named United Equestrian Conference Rider-of-the-Month for Equitation over Fences and on the Flat, and was National Rider-of-the-Month for Fences in March.
Her March performances were highlighted by a Most Outstanding Rider award after posting a score of 88 on the Flat to help lead the Hornets to an upset win over defending national champion South Carolina on Mar. 4. She was also victorious on the Flat and in Fences at the United Equestrian Conference Tournament and earned points in DSU's wins over SMU and Sacred Heart.
Anderson was selected to the 2016 All-United Equestrian Conference Team for Equitation over Fences.
Delaware State also had an All-America horse for the first time during the 2015-16 season. "Calvin," a 12-year old gelding earned Top 10 in the nation honors in the Horsemanship category.
During the 2012-13 season, DSU's Alyssa Berfield competed in the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida; and Heather Hotz competed in the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Waco, Tex.
Berfield and McKenzie Trueba were named to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association All-America Team.
The Hornets were also awarded with the first-ever National Collegiate Equestrian Association Sportsmanship Award during the association's annual convention in Indianapolis, Indiana in May 2013.
In the presenting statement, the NCEA offered congratulations to the Delaware State University equestrian team, its coaches and the university administration for producing great sportsmanship within the program; and earning the first ever Sportsmanship Award.
“We try extremely hard to win each competition, but character and sportsmanship are just as important to our program,” said Ridgely. “The positive values we impart to our young ladies will carry them well beyond their college years.”
Also, five DSU riders earned 2012-13 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Commissioner's All-Academic Team honors.
In 2012, junior Breann Huyett was named the first equestrian All-American in DSU school history, awarded by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association.
Additionally, the Hornets racked up first time honors as three riders (Brittni Collins-Rideout, Caroline Foltz and McKenzie Trueba) earned NCEA All-Academic awards.
DSU equestrian placed eight riders on the 2011-12 MEAC Commissioner's All-Academic team.
Under her leadership in 2011, Del State sent both its English and Western squads to the Varsity Equestrian National Championship. The English squad had previously competed in the 2008 and 2009 competitions while the Western team earned its first selection in 2010.
Since its inception in 1998, Ridgely has grown the team from five riders to over 25 in 2012. In the school's first season, the English team qualified for the Varsity Equestrian National Champions.
Ridgely brings more than 30 years of equine business and competition experience to the Hornet equestrian team. She also has experience in equine judging, horse training and an expansive knowledge in training riders in various disciplines.
As a youth competitor, Ridgely excelled on the Quarter Horse circuit, competing and placing at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and Youth World Show.
In addition to coaching full-time at Delaware State, Ridgely currently co-owns and operates Wicked R Western Productions, Inc. with her husband, Randy, where they offer riding lessons, overnight Dude Ranch Camps and much more. Before joining DSU, Ridgely coordinated managed, and implemented the daily activities of the 60 acre Agri-Tourism business, the first of its kind in the state of Delaware.
Ridgely is a native of Camden, Del., and a graduate of Caesar Rodney High School. She received her B.A. in 1991 and her Master's in 1998, both from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College). Ridgely was an elementary school teacher in Delaware and Maryland prior to her time at DSU. She and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful "cowgirls," Peyton (15) and Rylee (11).
|Alma Mater:||Western Maryland '91 '98|