UC Davis Equestrian Team Comes Out on Top in First Home Meet

DAVIS -- The University of California, Davis is home to 25 different sports programs.

More than 700 student-athletes compete for the Aggies but some might be surprised to find out that equestrian is one of those.

"Normally riding horses is a really individual sport," said rider Olivia Russell. "So, to do it on a team where we're all cheering for each other, we're all getting each other on and ready to go, it's just really nice to have that supportive group."

The Aggies hosted their first ever meet Thursday in what turned out to be a victory over Delaware State.

UC Davis is only the second university in the state to field an equestrian team.

"I like seeing the different horses and the different riders, just how they adapt to the different situations and what they can do to make the horse do what they want," said student Tatum Baker.

"It's 12-hundred pounds underneath of you," Russell told FOX40. "You don't know what they're going to do and so I really like the risk of that. It's kind of like a little thrill to see what's going to happen."

The sport is brand new to UC Davis, so fans needed a bit of an education on how exactly to follow an equestrian meet.

"I have no idea what's going on. I really wish, like, I knew what was going on but all I see is just that score over there and it's like, 'Yeah, you're doing great,'" said student Henry Huang.

Equestrian meets don't welcome the same screaming fans that people are used to finding at football games.

"Yeah, we don't have fireworks going and we don't have noisemakers because that will scare the horses," Russell said. "They're very sensitive creatures. They're huge but they're babies."

The Aggies next equestrian meet will be Saturday, March 2 at noon against Fresno State.

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