Smith's decision was unilateral.
The College did not consult with the team, alumnae, donors, current students, or members of the Northampton community.
Prior to the December 8, 2016 announcement, only a handful of administrators knew about the College's plan to permanently shutter the Smith College Equestrian Center and demote the Varsity team to club status. Team members and student riders were blindsided right at the start of finals. Alumnae and parents worldwide received the news in a trickle. Riders from the community high school and middle school riding programs were shocked to hear their beloved local fixture would close. Prospective students were forced to reexamine their early admission decisions. Donors were surprised to hear that their generous gifts would be squandered.
Number of Current Varsity Student-Athletes
First-year & Sophomore Team Members
U.S States & 1 Foreign Country Represented
Smith refuses to discuss the matter.
Smithies past and present have attempted to engage the administration with no success.
Smith students are taught to stand up for what we believe in. As Smith Equestrian Team members, alumnae, donors, students, parents, and Northampton Community members, we are proud of our riding program's 90+ year history. We are committed to communicating our beliefs to an administration that is unaware of what the program means to the heart of Smith College. Our time at Smith has fostered a deep love for the Equestrian Center and the powerful learning experiences that come from hours spent in the saddle and working around horses. This is why it is essential that Smith come to the table for discussion with the broader community.
The Varsity team experience sets Smith apart.
Smith Equestrian student-athletes consistently earn top honors in the nationally-recognized Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA).
A quick glance at the official Smith Equestrian website archives shows just how successful the Varsity Equestrian Team is at local, regional, and national competitions. Our riders consistently outperform schools that restrict equestrian sports to club status (e.g., Amherst, Williams, UMass Amherst, etc.). We compete on the national stage against Mt. Holyoke, our closest rival, and a school that has a Varsity team and on-campus facility. The number of students who will choose Mt. Holyoke over Smith should Smith abandon its Varsity team is likely to be substantial.
The Equestrian Center is essential to Smith College & Northampton.
Generous donor gifts have built Smith's on-campus facility into a unique learning environment for all ages.
The Smith Equestrian Team has made a lasting impact on countless people. These important members of the Smith Community have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last several decades to improving the Equestrian Center. It is now a professional-grade facility that any college or university would be proud to claim. Members of the Northampton community and Smith students who are not part of the Varsity team are able to spend time with the horses, take riding lessons year-round, and work on skills that will benefit them for their entire lives.