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What is O.C.E.A.?

When I decided to go to university, I realized that anything farther than an hour from home would make riding at SJD difficult for the next four years. Luckily, I came across a not to small association titled the Ontario Collegiate Equestrian Association. The O.C.E.A.was officially founded in 2007 as a way for students to continue riding and showing though university, but without the hefty time and money commitments. It has now grown to be an association including 19 schools across three zones.

Similar to America's Intercollegiate Horse Show Associate the O.C.E.A. offers hunter equitation classes under saddle and over fences.   The true test is for riders to compete on generously donated horses that they have not previously ridden. 

As a result, there is a level for every level of rider: Beginner (18”), Novice (2’3”), Intermediate (2’6”) and Open (3’0”).  You division is based on previous experience that you showed at.  This year I am happy to be competing on the Open team with a great bunch of riders from McMaster.

2018/2019 Team!

2017/2018 Team!
I personally love the concept of an Equestrian Team.  Sure our barns are all like teams, however the O.C.E.A program fosters a supportive and fun environment by tracking team points. Colours and Cheers where loud and bold from 7:30 am to the awards ceremony at 3:30 pm. The day is jam packed but moves efficiently and successfully over some eighty over fences, eight flat classes and eight warm ups.



Finals is a unique experience! Well, I made it! I qualified third out of the West Zone for the 2018 OCEA finals at Caledon Equestrian Park. The McMaster Equestrian team had a small unit of three riders competing in four classes which allowed us to have a fun time at the show. Our two wonderful captains had us well prepped on what to expect, but the show was still beyond words! There were the top six riders from each zone competing in each class, similar to that of Trillium Champs or the Royal, but the OCEA Finals had eight ride-offs, one per class.

I went relatively early in the first round for the Open Over Fences. I drew a fun grey jumper named Blaine, who trucked around the course like a pro and helped me set a score of 79.0. Th score kept me on top for a while but was surpassed by another rider on Blaine. Nevertheless, I made it into the ride off via the wild card spots. I drew a lovely grey hunter named Logan for my ride off and was the third of four riders to go on him. The first two riders elected to do a five in the bending line that most had done in four. So when it came to my turn, I stepped on the gas pedal a tad more! Logan cantered around the shortened ride-off course with perfect manners and helped me lay down a trip that put me fourth for the second round and therefore the class.

Flash (A West Zone Fave!)
My teammates both had beautiful rounds with one hiccup each, but I am so proud of how great they looked out there! Happy to say that the next day we all walked out of the OCEA Gala with some very colourful ribbons. I finished 6th overall in the Open Division (2nd over fences!), and MacEq also had the 3rd overall rider in the intermediate and 7th overall rider in the novice.

I am so thrilled to have joined the MacEq team and compete on OCEA for the 2018/2019 year. Getting on a random and unknown horse to go jump a 3ft course seems like a terrifying thing to do, but with great horses being donated and shows running at great venues... It is just a whole lot of fun!! I am so proud to be back again!

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