The University of Lynchburg announced today that its equestrian program has reached an agreement with Liberty University to ride from the Liberty Mountain Equestrian Center in 2020-21 and beyond.
“We are very thankful for the opportunity that Liberty has afforded us to run our program out of their facility,” Jon Waters, Lynchburg’s director of athletics, said. “Our equestrian program has provided high-impact co-curricular experiences for our students for decades, and we are thrilled that we can continue to offer programming for women and men who want to ride in college. They are certainly an important part of our athletics family.”
The Liberty complex is located on the south side of Candler Mountain in Campbell County, about 10 miles and a 20-minute drive from the Lynchburg campus. The facility features four barns, 120-foot-by-300-foot indoor and outdoor riding areas, and plenty of pasture across its 380 acres.
Both Lynchburg’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association and Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association teams will practice and compete at the facility, and Lynchburg head coach Justine Betzler will work closely with Liberty director of riding Suzanne Flaig, farm manager John Eubank, and their staff.
“I am thankful that Lynchburg was able to find a solution that allows the equestrian program to continue to offer riding opportunities to our students,” Betzler said. “I look forward to seeing our IHSA and NCEA teams continue to develop as a result of this partnership.”
The agreement comes months after Sweet Briar College ended its relationship with the Lynchburg equestrian program at SBC’s Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center, effective at the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
Lynchburg’s equestrian program has assumed a role on the national stage in advocating for the health and expansion of collegiate riding, spearheading an effort to get the sport on the NCAA’s Emerging Sports for Women list for Division III. The effort was narrowly defeated in January in its first year on the ballot.
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