New Eventing Club comes to TCU Nicole Strong

Reagan LaFleur and Bella competing at the Ocala Jockey Club International (Photo courtesy of Reagan LaFleur).

For some students, summer is an opportunity to intern and work, but for one TCU political science major this past summer was the perfect opportunity to cross the pond in search of a new ride.

Reagan LaFleur spent three months in Tetbury, England, an hour west of London, in search of a new horse.

LaFleur said she wanted a horse who could excel in competition.

“I was looking for a solid brain, athleticism, attitude, and the ability to perform in all the separate phases,” she said.

She found that in Bella Van Bruxvoort or Bella, before the beginning of the summer with the help of her coach.

“She’s a small, athletic, tough mare,” LaFleur said. “She thinks she runs the world, but it makes her a fierce competitor.”

LaFleur, who’s a member of TCU’s first-ever Eventing Club, rides English saddle. The athletic club allows students to compete in the equestrian sport of three-day eventing. The three phases, which span a weekend, are dressage, followed by show jumping and cross-country jumping.

LaFleur and Bella making a big splash (Photo courtesy of Reagan LaFleur).

For LaFleur, the 12-member team is a stress-reliever and way for her to be a part of the TCU community.

“The Eventing Club here at TCU gave riders of our discipline a chance to really function as a team,” said LaFleur. “We all compete in an individual sport, so when we were given the chance to compete together, every rider jumped on the opportunity.”

Bailey Snyder, the Eventing Club president and founder, explained a drop-off in collegiate-level riders since most schools do not have eventing teams. Snyder said the United States Eventing Association recognized this problem and created an intercollegiate committee to organize sport club teams across the nation.

“When I heard about that, I realized it was something we had to have at TCU,” Snyder said. “I know personally from the riding world so many girls at TCU that were already doing this and were balancing it on their own outside of school, so I thought how great it would be if they could do it in partnership with the school.”

LaFleur smiles with her horse, Bella (Photo courtesy of Reagan LaFleur).

LaFleur said her love of horses and riding began as she was about to enter kindergarten and was touring potential schools - one had stables.

“I told my mom I wanted to do that,” said LaFleur. “I happened to love the school too so I enrolled that day and my mom signed me up for lessons. I haven’t been out of the saddle since.”

She said that riding helped her transition into college.

“So many things are changing in college, so it’s good to have something remain constant,” LaFleur said. “Riding is that constant for me. Every day after class, I go out and ride which dually serves as a way for me to get better in my riding and to leave campus to get my mind off of school work for awhile.”

LaFleur said the club has helped relieve her stress about time management.

“As a student, I am much less worried about the toll that riding takes on my academics,” said LaFleur. “They tend to frequently conflict, so the team makes them much more cohesive. The team works together for collective success in competitions and also in the classroom.”

LaFleur and Bella competing in the cross-country phase of three-day eventing (Photo courtesy of Reagan LaFleur).

She has competed in three shows so far this semester. She has high hopes for her future in this sport.

“My goal really would be to jump around the biggest courses in this sport and do so successfully,” LaFleur said.

Snyder spoke about LaFleur’s enthusiasm for three-day eventing.

“Reagan embraces everything that comes her way and takes life on,” Snyder said. “She’s had some really unique opportunities and taken her passion for the sport and given her whole self to it.”

LaFleur and Bella competing in the dressage portion of three-day eventing (Photo courtesy of Reagan LaFleur).

For more information about the Eventing Club follow them on Facebook or visit their OrgSync page.

To keep up with Reagan and Bella on their horse adventures follow @lafleur.eventing on Instagram.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.