CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University's Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team, or I.H.S.A, is facing big changes for the 2012-13 school year. Team captains gathered early Monday morning with their coach, Dawn Ross, for what was described as an important meeting.
"She told us that she wasn't going to be with us anymore. She said this Fall term is the last term it's going to be offered through the school and she's really sad," said team member Iris Godfrey.
I.H.S.A won their first national championship title in Raleigh, North Carolina this year. Coming off that victory, Godfrey said that her and her teammates left Monday's meeting in complete shock. The I.H.S.A. team had spent a majority of the summer preparing, hoping to win another championship.
"Pretty much she told us that she doesn't have a job. They're cutting the riding program, and she teaches classes here at the barn through OSU, so if they cut that, she doesn't have a job because that's what she does here," said one of the captains, Zoe Heald.
Heald added that one of the primary reasons she chose OSU was because of the horse program.
Vice President of University Relations and Marketing, Steve Clark, said changes at the OSU barn are on the horizon. He said these changes are all part of an expansion of the program that will actually serve more OSU students in the future.
"Presently, what we see is eight to twelve students who are participating in our nationally renowned equestrian team," said Clark. "We're going to enter a partnership with a campus program to continue this program. What it'll do is expand the offering to hundreds of more students."
Clark said that part of his decision is based on the decreased level of funding at the state level. OSU has seen about a 30% for agricultural experiment station programs.
"What we'll be able to do is continue to run this program and expand the use of the horse barn with many more students and continue the academic and research mission," said Clark.
Clark said that the new barn program will expand to serve additional OSU students.
"It'll begin in January and expand the use of the horse barn to hundreds more students while continuing the high quality, renowned equestrian program we have now," said Clark.