Section: archive

Cash-strapped Equestrian Club granted additional funds

By Alex Harrover

In response to financial hurdles, this fall members of the Equestrian Club successfully lobbied the Business and Finance Committee to boost their funding to cover 90 percent of the cost of care for their horses.

In the 2010-2011 year, the Business and Finance Committee cut the Club’s funding from 100 percent to 45 percent. The funding provides for the essential care of the Club’s horses.

At the time of these cuts, the Equestrian Club was comprised of 12 members ラ a small number considering the expensive upkeep of horses. BFC Co-Chair Michael Marting ’14 said, “I think the problem in the past was, you know, you’re really spending a large amount of money on a small number of people, and I think that’s part of the reason why it was cut back.”

Equestrian Club Treasurer Helen Rogers ’15 inherited these cuts and took action to bring the Club back into financial sustainability. She met with Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Christina Haas and BFC Co-Chair Eleanor Ritchie ’14, making a case to replenish what was cut. In these meetings, Rogers presented receipts for Club expenses to Haas and the BFC, reassuring them of the Club’s responsibility through accountability.

Additionally, she listed some recent successes of the Club: consistent top-three placement in regional competition, an individual record at nationals and a membership that has more than doubled. “The Club also attracts prospective students,” Rogers said. “We wanted [the BFC] to know that.”

Their cooperation proved effective ラ the BFC saw eye-to-eye with Rogers, and doubled the essential funding for horses, now covering 90 percent of food, board, vaccines, horseshoes, etc. As for that 10-percent gap, it is being provided for by continued fundraising efforts. Most recently, the Equestrian Club worked a day at Cedar Point, earning $2,000 to help cover the remaining expenditures.

But these essential costs cannot provide for the entirety of the Equestrian Club’s success. Interstate travel to competitions requires boarding for the team itself ラ the BFC does not cover the Club’s hotel or travel expenses or instructional lesson fees. These present an additional gap to be filled.

Membership fees, in addition to lesson costs, pay for a portion of this. “[The Equestrian Club’s] dues for a non-showing member are about $450 per semester, and a showing member pays more like $1,000,” Ritchie said. Given that membership has increased since 2012 from 12 members to 30, there is effectively more money in the pool, and even that is enhanced by an outpouring of parent donations, which is rare among Kenyon’s clubs.

“We don’t want to make a value judgment on the clubs at Kenyon,” Marting said, “but this is something that’s really unique. ナ There’s one equestrian team and they work really hard to keep it going ナ and still have skin in the game; they’re still paying a lot of the expenses, but we wanted to try and cover more of the capital expenditures.”

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