On Sat, Mar. 2, the Hunt Seat Team hosted their annual spring home show. The team used the show to honor those that are no longer with us. In this respect, they honored victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 2012 shooting and former professor Colonel Alfred “Bud” Kitts.
Equestrian alumnae also attended to support the team. Many of them rode with Colonel Kitts when attending Wilson, and wanted to show respect.
“The raffle to raise money for the Newtown Memorial fund was a touching tribute,” said Gina Hall, Hunt Seat Team Coach. “I also believe that the Colonel Kitts tribute was fitting for his legacy.”
The volunteer-based Newtown Memorial Fund raises money to provide financial assistance to families impacted by the school shooting.
The team originally planned to only honor Sandy Hook victims when they first started planning the show. The team always holds a raffle at their home shows, but this time they wanted the proceeds to go a worthy cause. The team decided on Sandy Hook because the tragedy touched all of team members in a different way.
In conjunction with the raffle, the team decorated one of their jumps green and white, the colors of Sandy Hook.
“We were able to honor those who have fallen beautifully,” said Allie Veach ‘14, team Captain.
Each team member was assigned the name of one of the children and was asked to decorate a horseshoe in that child’s honor. The team and other supportive campus community members wore green and white ribbons.
Veach added, “It was our great pleasure to do our best to keep their memories alive.”
Colonel Kitts, who had passed away on Feb. 26, founded the Wilson equestrian program and helped to build the Hawthorne ring, the location of the show.
“It was nice to be able to host a show on the same day as his memorial,” Hall said. “It is the best tribute I could think of for his memory.”
In his honor a few alumnae actually dressed in the riding clothes that they wore with him. Others created a tri-fold poster board with pictures of him on it, including alumna Sharron Hanna ’89.
“It was nice to add a tribute to Colonel Kitts,” said Hanna. “Our two goals for the day really seemed to mesh together.”
The memorial resonated with many students, and many said that they know they would not currently attend Wilson if the Colonel had not helped start the program.
Throughout the day team members showed in their respective classes and each member who competed placed in their class or classes. Some members jumped and rode flat to earn their ribbons. While it was not enough to push them into a high place finish for the day against the other schools, both Hall and Veach agreed that the team performed better than expected.
“This show was exceptional on many levels,” said Hall. “Everyone on the team rode better than they have at any other show.”
Colleen Flynn ’14 placed first in her class and will move on to the regional show in April. Flynn qualified by placing in her class on Saturday. Points were accumulated throughout the show year starting in the Fall 2012 semester.
“The teams we were competing against also greatly enjoyed the show,” said Hall.