University of Tennessee Equestrian Team

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The University of Tennessee Equestrian Team (UTET) is affiliated with the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA). We are in of Zone 5 Region 1, and travel across Tennessee and Kentucky for competitions. Post season competition for the highest placing riders during the regular season include Regionals, Zones (Hunt Seat), Semi-Finals (Western), and Nationals at locations across the country. Hunt Seat riders compete in Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences. Western riders compete in Horsemanship, Ranch Riding, and Reining. Since 1975, the UTET has helped collegiate riders compete without needing to own a horse. All levels of experience are welcome, and riders who have never ridden before are as valuable as those who have competed at the National and World levels.

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Lacey Johnston
Senior Lecturer, Animal Science

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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 horse, most do not.

Yes again! Our competitions include beginner divisions where you can compete against other new riders!

Riding members take one group lesson with their teammates per week. Additional riding opportunities can be arranged with our coaches as available.

Most likely! There are potential boarding options available based on openings at each lesson facility. If you would like your horse to be considered for use by the UTET in lessons, contact us for more information.

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 we accept anyone who wants to join. However, based on horse availability for lessons and competition limits for the number of riders per show, lesson spots will be competitively selected.

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) is similar to the Intercollegiate Equestrian Association (IEA) in that it is a catch-ride style competition. Typically, the host school will provide the majority of the horses for the competition, and other schools in the region provide horses as well. Riders may watch the horses warm up before the show, but will not know which horse they will ride. During the draw, the team captain will draw a horse’s name at random for each competing rider. Riders will mount the horse that has been drawn for them, 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 Hunt Seat members compete in Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat and the Western members compete in Western Horsemanship, Ranch Riding, and Reining. Even if you don’t have experience in any of these events, you can still join our team! With Walk/Trot or Walk/Jog divisions for beginners, to Open divisions for experienced competitors, every member is valuable. We have had members from barrel racing, gaited, saddle seat, eventing, show jumping, and many other backgrounds become successful in IHSA!

No! Competing in IHSA shows is completely optional. Our club values horsemanship and sportsmanship, while also having fun and creating lasting memories. We have a Horsemanship Member option if you want to be involved in the club but do not wish to take weekly lessons.

No, we are classified as a Sport Club and unfortunately we do not receive funding to offer scholarships. However, if finances are an issue, please speak with us as there are sometimes student worker positions available at the lesson barns, or barns in the area. 


Lesson Locations

The UTET operates under UT Recreational Sports’ Sport Clubs, and members take lessons at off-site facilities. The Western team lessons at Elder’s Last Lap Ranch in Maryville, TN, and the Hunt Seat Team lessons at Penrose Farm in Knoxville, TN.

For team information, lesson availability, and other questions contact the Club Officers at

Western Lessons are taught at Elder’s Last Lap Ranch in Maryville, TN

Hunt Seat Lessons are taught at Penrose Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee