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Knoxville native scores big at national equestrian championship


  meredith denny
Meredith Denny, a Knoxville native, wins equestrian title.

SAVANNAH, GA — Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) senior Meredith Denny competed in the 40th annual ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship, which was held at SCAD from April 19-23. Denny, who is studying graphic design, won the title of National Division High Point Rider. She also received second place in the National Division Program Ride, second place in the National Division Hunter Derby, third place in the National Division Written Phase and fifth place in the National Division Medal Phase.

In addition to Denny’s honors, the SCAD Bees won both the Novice and National Team Divisions of the Championships – a historic feat the team first accomplished two years ago. This is the third consecutive year that SCAD has won the Novice Team Division and the third time in four years the Bees have won the National Team Division.

“At SCAD, the aesthetics, commitment, discipline and athleticism of riding are highly valued,” said SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace. The first art and design university to offer intercollegiate sports, SCAD is preparing accomplished artists, designers, writers and performers to be champion athletes. As a fine art form itself, the sport has naturally aligned with the principles of this top-ranked art and design university since the team’s formation.

Since SCAD began competing in 2002, the equestrian team has made impressive strides in competition. Not only has the team consistently brought home titles in regional and zone events, they have earned esteem on the national level. In 2015, the team secured four national championships, and followed up those wins with three more in 2016.

The ANRC Intercollegiate Equitation Championship is a national championship where colleges and universities showcase their most talented riders in a competition judged and scored on equitation skills.

The three riding phases of the ANRC competition are program ride, hunter seat equitation medal course, and derby course. Riders ride the same horse throughout the competition, and jumps do not exceed three feet in height. Equitation skills are also assessed with a written test based on riding theory and equine science. Awards were presented to both school and individual champions.

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited university offering more than 100 academic degree programs in 43 majors across its locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Hong Kong; Lacoste, France; and online via SCAD eLearning. SCAD enrolls over 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 countries. The innovative SCAD curriculum is enhanced by advanced professional-level technology, equipment and learning resources, as well as opportunities for internships, professional certifications and collaborative projects with corporate partners.

In 2015, the prestigious Red Dot Design Rankings placed SCAD in the top four universities in the Americas and Europe. Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni placement rate. In a study of Spring 2016 SCAD graduates, 98 percent were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. For more information, visit the official SCAD blog.

The undergraduate program of study covers equine law and principles, rules and regulations of various equestrian governing bodies, and effective communication with a wide range of equestrian professionals. The comprehensive curriculum is supplemented by lectures from visiting professionals, including trainers, Olympic-caliber riders, judges, veterinarians and horse-show managers.

Through the equestrian studies program, students gain an understanding of equine psychology, body language and social behavior that they apply to the care, training and riding of horses. Knowledge of equine anatomy, conformation, conditioning, health and nutrition provides the basis from which students develop competency in the safe handling, proper care, evaluation and selection of the sport horse. For complete curriculum requirements and course descriptions, visit

Published May 15, 2017

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