By Anthony Saccone
Assistant Sports Editor
The Sacred Heart University Equestrian Team has officially moved into their new home. The Pioneers new facility called Silvermine Farm will serve as the main arena for the team.
Silvermine Farm is located just 15 miles south of campus in Norwalk, Conn. Equestrian head coach Tiffany Hajdasz understands this is a great opportunity for the Equestrian program.
“Silvermine Farm has been so welcoming. They are as excited for us to be there as we are,” said Hajdasz. “Our student athletes are really appreciating the shorter commute.”
Assistant coach Caitlin Ader already sees how much the team enjoys their brand-new facility, and the benefits that come with being closer to campus.
“The team has been very excited about having our new home space at Silvermine. Our horses have great care and all our student athletes noticed that,” said Ader. “Our daily practice routine has not changed much from the past, however our girls are able to spend more time taking care of the horses after practice, and learning more horsemanship skills.”
The Pioneers now have opportunities in practice that have never really been open to them prior to the opening of Silvermine Farm.
“We have use of 3 arenas, so we have been able to run different practice groups simultaneously and have been able to reduce the number of trips our SA are taking to practice,” said Hajdasz. “We intend to move our practice times later in the day for the Spring semester, which will allow us the opportunity to practice once the day warms up during the colder months.”
Sacred Heart Equestrian now expects to draw larger crowds with Silvermine Farm being so close to home.
“Our new facility will increase attendance at our home competitions, especially from the Sacred Heart community,” said Ader. “It also provides us with more recruitment opportunities.”
Silvermine Farm, is a modern facility that offers the team a numerous amount of benefits.
“The indoor ring and outside back arena both have top of the line GGT footing. The front and back outdoor arenas both have sprinkler systems for dust control,” said Hajdasz. “The front door and outdoor arenas also have a built-in tack room for us which will house the equipment we use on a daily basis, as well as serve as an area for our student athletes to store their helmets and riding boots.”
The student athletes on the Equestrian will really be the ones to benefit most from Silvermine Farm.
“We are able to offer our student athletes almost double the number of horses than we ever have in the past, our two outside practice rings as well as an indoor for the winter, have a heated viewing area,” said Ader. “The team will also have a brand-new locker room at the facility later in the semester. We truly couldn’t ask for anything more!”.
The Sacred Heart Equestrian team will open up their season on the road at UCONN, in the Tournament of Champions on Saturday Sep 21.
The teams home opener and debut at Silvermine Farm will take place on Saturday Oct. 26.