Smith College has announced the closing of the Equestrian Center and the demotion of the varsity Equestrian Team to club status. This will permanently end the Equestrian program as generations of Smith students have known it.
Announcement: Statement from the Committee
On July 27, Smith announced a new partnership that places the club equestrian team at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, MA. This is the latest in a series of announcements that continues to highlight the administration's closed-door decision making. Furthermore, we are still left questioning the original reason for closing the on-campus barn. The stated rationale of maintaining competitiveness simply does not match up with requiring interested students to commute to a barn 30 minutes away from campus or demotion from varsity to club status.
Team leadership was not informed of the decision to partner with SBS until yesterday morning. Further, our committee of alumnae with decades of professional equestrian experience, was left out of the decision entirely.
In addition, the College still has not addressed the issue of alumnae whose generous gifts funded large parts of the on-campus Equestrian Center, or how it is handling the trust left as a memoriam to Team member Christianne Johnson.
Going forward, if you still consider yourself a part of the larger Smith community, we ask that you continue to demand transparency from all levels of administration. We will still be writing, calling and emailing to demand answers to the questions above left unanswered. It would be truly damaging should this type of decision- making become the College's new norm.