by George Looby, DVM
For years the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has acted as the regulatory body for intercollegiate athletics ensuring that student athletes adhere to the guidelines set forth by that body.
In addition to its power to regulate, the NCAA is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that both male and female athletes are treated equally. In 1996 the NCAA classified equestrian as an emerging sport, this a term that NCAA uses for sports programs that are just beginning to have an impact on the intercollegiate scene and wish to gain NCAA affiliation. NCCA affiliation requires that a given college or university meet with certain very specific rules and regulations in order to gain admission to the association. In that first year there were six institutions that met the criteria set forth by the organization, today 26 schools are recognized. Under NCAA guidelines, in order for the equestrian programs to move from the emerging level to the championship level there must be 40 schools recognized by the organization. It is interesting to note that of all the sports regulated by the NCAA the equestrian program is the only one limited to women. [Read more…]