Equestrian riders set to get back in the saddle for fall season
Liberty University Director of Equestrian Programs and Head Coach Suzanne Flaig and her staff weathered the pandemic to the best of their abilities in 2020-21 and offered the Lady Flames’ riders as many opportunities as possible out of the Liberty Equestrian Center.
“We stayed resilient and stayed positive and did what we could,” Flaig said. “We were able to travel one time and also able to host a few smaller events … so we still got to see a high level of competition. It was really exciting, we got to honor some of our seniors who kind of missed out on their senior year and make that a special competition for them and highlight their achievements.”
Seniors Faith Dantona from Syosset, N.Y., and Juliana Gorena from Durham, N.C., have been designated as the team’s captains for the upcoming season.
“They are such a huge part of the heart and soul of the team and I am really looking forward to seeing them help us lead the way,” said Flaig, who is planning to host interested riders in an informational meeting set for Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 4 p.m. at the Equestrian Center. “We will still have an open tryout the first week of school, so we have our returners coming back, an expected pool of recruits that will be here as well and we are really excited about the contributions they will be able to make.”
Flaig has great expectations for the upcoming season, with the IHSA looking to get back to putting on competitive intercollegiate shows, including postseason regional and zonal events.
“We want to take home that (Region 4) trophy,” she said. “We came up just a little bit short back in the 2019-20 season and we’re really looking to break through that portion of it and again bring that trophy home which will qualify us for Zone (4) competition.”