Equestrian Club offers lessons at VFMA

Eastern’s Equestrian Club is planning on taking a new route this year.

Unknown by most outsiders, Valley Forge Military Academy has a barn and an indoor polo arena on their campus. The academy has an equestrian program in which they play polo and compete against other schools.

How does this affect our school’s club?

“I struck a deal with Nick Caputo,” said Dr. Stephen Gatlin, coordinator of the Equestrian Club. Captain Nick Caputo is the head of equestrianism at Valley Forge Military Academy.

After meeting with Gatlin, Caputo has agreed to allow Eastern students to come to the Academy’s facilities to get riding lessons. Gatlin was able to get a reduced price for Eastern students and the lessons will be two days per week for about ten weeks. Valley Forge Military Academy is so close to Eastern’s campus that there is essentially no commute.

“I think it’s the best of all possible worlds,” said Gatlin.

In previous years, the club would drive to barns that were a reasonable distance from Eastern. However, as it was, the members would be faced with a long night of rush hour traffic, preparing the horses, riding and not returning to campus until about 10:30 p.m.

“What we’re trying to do, ideally, is to organize a club that will foster interest in equestrianism,” said Gatlin. Five women have expressed interest in the club from seeing the flyers around the campus. Gatlin hopes some male students will become members as well.

No experience is necessary, but students should sign up as soon as possible. Lessons will take place when members of the club decide to begin. The club will be appropriate for both beginner and advanced riders.

“You have to be very keen on horse riding,” Gatlin said.

Contact Dr. Stephen Gatlin, sgatlin@eastern.edu or extension 4383, if you are interested in being a part of the Equestrian Club.

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