University of Tennessee Equestrian Team

Equestrian Team Logo

The University of Tennessee Equestrian Team (UTET) affiliates with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and compete in both Hunt Seat and Western competitions. As the flagship school of the state, we take pride in our team and representing UT. Since 1975, the UTET has helped collegiate riders compete with no need to own a horse. As a member of the IHSA, there are riders every year who have never ridden before as well as those who have competed at the National and World levels. The UTET competes in Equitation on the Flat, Equitation over Fences, Horsemanship, Ranch Riding, and Reining. We are a member of Zone 5 Region 1 and travel around the state of Tennessee and Kentucky to compete. After the regular season, there are opportunities to travel around the country for post-season competitions. In the past several years, many riders have represented the UTET at the Regional, Zone, Semi-Final, and National level in the IHSA.

Lacey Johnston Profile Page
Lacey Johnston
Senior Lecturer, Animal Science

Want information about the UTET for the 2022-2023 school year? Email Ms. Johnston for the latest information!


Yes, of course! One of the reasons IHSA was founded was to allow college students to compete without the expense of owning a horse. While some of our members do own their own mounts, most do not.

Yes again! It is CRUCIAL to the success of our team that we get new and less experienced riders each semester. In our competitions, there is a beginner division where you can compete against other new riders!

We expect our riding members to take one team lesson per week. Extra riding opportunities can be arranged if you contact our coach or our officers.

Most likely! There are potential boarding options that are available on a first come, first serve basis by arrangement with our partner farms. If you would like your horse to be used by the UTET in lessons or shows, contact us and we will point you in the right direction!

Yes! While riding both disciplines is a greater time and financial commitment, it is a wonderful way to develop your skills in both seats.

No! We are a club sport, which means that anyone who wants to participate, may. However, most competitions have a limit for the number of riders in a division. Therefore, those show team spots will be competitively selected from our members.

Typically, the host school will provide the majority of the horses for the competition, with several other schools in the region hauling in a few horses as well. Riders will be allowed to watch the horses warm up that will be used in the show. The team captain will then draw horses randomly out of a hat for each competing rider. You will mount the horse that has been drawn for you, and compete without any warm up. The judges are looking for riders who best adapt to unfamiliar horses and bring out the best in them. The rider is being judged, not the horse.

Our members compete in Equitation over Fences, Equitation on the Flat, Horsemanship, Ranch Riding, and Reining. In each event, there are divisions that cater to different levels of riders. There is a Walk Trot division for beginners all the way up to Open for the most seasoned competitors. Even if you don’t have any experience in any of these four events, we would still love to see you join our team! We have had members come from barrel racing, gaited, saddle seat, eventing, show jumping, and many other backgrounds and become successful on the IHSA circuit!

No! Competing with the club is completely optional. Our club values horsemanship and sportsmanship, while also having fun and creating lasting memories. These can be created even if you are not a competing member. We also have membership options if you want to be involved in the club but do not wish to take weekly lessons.

No, we are classified as a club sport which means that unfortunately we are unable to offer scholarships. However, if finances are an issue, please speak with us as there are typically several student worker positions available around the farm! 

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Lesson Locations

The UTET operates through UT Recreational Sports and team members take lessons at off-site facilities. For team information, lesson availability, and other questions contact Ms. Lacey Johnston at

Western Lessons are taught at Elder’s Last Lap Ranch