WATERBURY, Conn. (April 26) – Continuing a long standing, and very popular, tradition for studying abroad in the Post University Equine Program, juniors Carlie Serif, originally from Ohio but now from Waterbury, and Pamela Lyon from Waterbury, are busy training for the British Horse Society Assistant Instructor qualification at Huntley School of Equitation in Gloucestershire, England. They are spending four months from February to June training for these examinations at one of the top training centers in UK, which provides an outstanding preparation for these internationally recognized instructor standards.
"I am so excited to be going for this training – this is why I came to Connecticut', said Carlie '" I am sure I will learn a lot and improve my riding skills during my training at Huntley. Of course, being able to live in another country is a huge bonus." They also plan to visit various equestrian events unique to UK – such as Badminton (a World Class 3-day Event), Royal Windsor Horse Show, Point-to-Point meeting (amateur steeplechases) and other competitions – as well as exploring the countryside and historical sites in the area. The horse world is a little differently organized in Europe, as are the riding and teaching techniques, so this experience certainly expands the student's equestrian horizons.
The Study Abroad program has been part of the equine program at Post University for the past 18 years. Every student comes back really thrilled with the improvement in their riding and equine knowledge, and enthusiastic about living abroad. "If I could, I would love to do this again" said Antoinette DeGruccio (2008) 'it was a wonderful ecperience".
An additional excitement for Carlie is that she will be flying back to Orlando, FL to represent the University's Dressage Team at the IDA National's at Upper Training Level this weekend, and will be returning to Huntley on the following Tuesday to finish her training. Carlie qualified to compete at Nationals by placing second in her Region. All the more kudos to Carlie as she did not actually attend any shows this semester because she was already in England, so her score is just based on the one semester she did compete! She has been practicing very hard and hopes to place well, but is mostly just thrilled to be there. 'It is so exciting for our team member to be going to Nationals' said Coach Jennifer Ford, 'I know she will really do her best – whatever the result, it will be a great weekend'.
Carlie is also Co-Captain of the IDA Dressage Team, and Pam is Manager of the IHSA Equestrian Team, and both are members of the Alpha Chi Honors Society. As it happens, both Carlie and Pam are recipients of the Business Women's Forum scholarship in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The Study Abroad experience will be an additional 'feather in their cap' as will the BHS qualifications they are working so hard to achieve.