Becoming one with the horse

Watching and waiting: Ranch Horse team members wait for the show to start at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland, Colorado on Dec. 2. (Photo Courtesy Denise Garcia)
Showing their skills: Equestrian team members show their skills at University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Feb. 2. (Photo Courtesy Lanae McDonald)


The Laramie County Community College Equestrian and Ranch Horse teams are two club sports operated by the agriculture department.

The Equestrian team, led by coach and agriculture teacher Lanae McDonald, is part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. This team practices on a variety of horses. On competition day, the coaches draw a random horse per rider and that is the horse the riders ride for their class.

The focus of this team is on the rider and his/her ability. The Ranch Horse team, led by coaches Cole Tully and Danny May, competes at collegiate shows that are sanctioned by the American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) and Colorado Wyoming Nebraska Stock Horse Association (CoWN). Students ride their own horses and compete at various levels in reining, ranch pleasure, trail and working cow horse. For this team, shows place both individual riders as well as teams in overall standings. Fall semester for Equestrian team was great, McDonald said.

“We might be sitting second or third in ISHA standings,” McDonald said.


“Ranch Horse team finished the fall semester with one of the largest teams it had in a few years, 15 riders,” Tully said.

Tully also stated, “We had planned to show at three shows over the fall semester, but we ended up getting snowed out of one show. The two shows we attended, we did get High Point Team.”

Through the fall semester, all the riders on the Ranch Horse team stood out in their own ways.

“I feel it is hard for me to pick one standout for the fall semester,” Tully said. “Coming in as a new coach this fall, I had to learn the whole team and not just the incoming freshman. But two standouts for me would have been Kaylynn Sheldon and Jadin Vogler. I was impressed with Kaylynn’s ability to come out and show at a level of competitiveness that she did yet being the only non-pro rider. Jadin came out and just put a clinic on in all four events. If it hadn’t been for a little rider mistake, Jadin would’ve been the high point rider in that division. Yet she still ended up in the top five with marking 74 in trail and a 74.5 in the working cow horse class.”

He also went on to say, “Caitlin Garcia, Layne George, Kassidy Woody and Addysen Rosner were all standouts at the Winterfest show. These four girls all showed tough, but if you look at the scoresheet, you would see that at the top of every class, at all divisions and in the all-around, that it was an LCCC Ranch Horse team member.”

Fall semester for the Ranch Horse team was one of its best yet. With spring semester events coming up, the Equestrian and Ranch Horse teams are practicing and preparing for a few more competitions before the end of the year.

“An overall goal for the Equestrian team would be to not only improve our riding but to also host a successful home show and regionals. I have a very young team this year with only two sophomores. Those two sophomores have never hosted a home show and they have to host two full shows and regionals. Our main goal is to host a good show this semester,” McDonald said.

“With all the Equestrian team riders improving, I believe we’ll show really well the rest of the season.” McDonald said.

“I believe the standout for this semester for English would have to be Paige Osborn. She’s been very strong in Novice Jumping so she is one of the ones we are pretty excited about and working hard on. The stand out for Western I would probably say is Diana Webster. She’s one of our Open and Reining riders. We are still really pushing for her to try and get qualified for Regionals. She worked really hard over Christmas Break,” McDonald said.

Everyone on the Equestrian Team works very hard to stand out and improve their riding in any way possible. The Equestrian team just came back from a show at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where the team took third overall. One of the other events that took place for the Equestrian team was their home show/regionals here at LCCC this past weekend, Feb. 15-17. Some upcoming shows are an English show in Fountain, Colorado on Feb. 23-24, and the English Show/Regionals in Fountain on March 9-10.

“Some goals for the Ranch Horse team would be to work on individual attainment to make our riders better horsemen/woman. We also hope to achieve more broke and willing partners out of our horses and then the winning at competitions will take care of itself,”  May said.

According to May, “Everyone on the team is a standout. Everyone on the team will continue to get better and each rider in each division is a standout.”

Some spring semester events for Ranch Horse team are at Colorado State University on March 1-3, a home show at LCCC on March 22-24, and the last show of the season in McCook, Nebraska on April 12-14.

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