Jennifer Ridgely came to Delaware State University in February 2007 as Head Coach of the newly established equestrian program. Now entering her thirteenth season, Ridgely has taken the program to previously unseen success including twelve NCEA National Championship appearances, a United Equestrian Conference title, the highest national ranking in program history (No. 8, 2018-2019), and has played a vital role in the progression of the sport of equestrian collegiately.
Since taking over the equestrian program at Delaware State, Ridgely has grown the team from five riders to a roster boasting over twenty-five team members with plans to double the program size by 2021. Ridgely has coached numerous student-athletes to All-American honors in each of the NCEA events as well as inductions to the DSU Hall of Fame. In 2012, Breann Huyett made history as Delaware State’s first First-Team All-American equestrian for the Reining. Huyett continued her record holding streak as Delaware State’s first equestrian inducted into the DSU Hall of Fame in 2018. Ridgely coached Horsemanship rider, Brooke Moore to First-Team All-American status and Hunter Seat rider, Hayley Anderson to Honorable Mention All-American status for Equitation Over Fences in 2016. Anderson would go on to be Delaware State’s first two-time All-American, receiving Second-Team All-American Equitation on the Flat in 2018. Ridgely herself was named Coach of the Year in 2016 by the UEC (United Equestrian Conference) as well as Coach of the Year by the NCEA (National Collegiate Equestrian Association) and again was award Coach of the Year honors in 2017 by Delaware State University.
Ridgely graduated from McDaniel University in 1991 with a BA in Education and received her MA in Counseling in 1998. She was an educator from 1991 through 2000, while simultaneously running a successful equine training barn and lesson program. The summer of 2000, Ridgely turned her focus solely to her equine interests, establishing Wicked R Western Prod., Inc., which quickly became a staple in the community and boasted a thriving lesson program and training business along with summer camps, horse shows, and overnight dude ranch camps until Ridgely accepted the Head Coach position at Delaware State University in early 2007.
Ridgely brings more than 35 years of equine business and competition experience to the equestrian program. She is an accomplished judge and horse trainer, drawing from her extensive knowledge on training riders in various disciplines. As a youth competitor, Ridgely excelled on the Quarter Horse circuit with dominating performances at top competitions such as the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and the Youth World Show. Following her success as a youth, Ridgely thrived on the First Frontier Pro Rodeo Circuit as a Professional Barrel Racer for more than 20 years. Her knowledge has helped garner awards for Delaware State’s equine athletes as well, with four NCEA Top Ten Horses of the Year.
Ridgely believes that creating a program and not just a team is vital for the longevity of the sport of equestrian. Her team carries the greatest number of volunteer hours every semester and holds the record for the highest team GPA, boasting no lower than a 3.0 team average every semester. Ridgely prides herself on molding successful young women to be educated, well-rounded, and productive citizens.
|Alma Mater:||Western Maryland '91 '98|