MARTIN, Tenn. – Meghan Cunningham, the head equestrian coach at The University of Tennessee at Martin, has announced the signings of hunter seat riders Caitlyn Epperson and Rachel Crinklaw for 2013-14.
The signees join a Skyhawk program that is coming off their seventh consecutive NCEA Tournament appearance. Last season, UT Martin entered the postseason ranked in the top-10 nationally before falling to defending national champion Baylor in the second round of the NCEA Tournament.
“We are excited to have Caitlyn and Rachel join our team for next season,” Cunningham said. “We have some crucial spots left open by graduating seniors and we have high expectations for our incoming freshmen to fill those roles.”
A Houston, Texas native, Epperson graduated from Cypress Christian High School. She trained under Trapp O’Neal out of Magnolia, Texas and captured several annual high point championships in equitation, hunter and jumper rings from numerous regional riding associations in her early riding career.
Epperson carried on her success into high school, where she competed in over 70 AA rated shows, placing in the top-six in over 300 classes. In 2012 alone, she earned victories in the Pin Oak Charity WIHS Equitation, Show Jumping Classic Pessoa US Hunter Seat Medal and Texas Junior Medal Finals. She also was a WIHS Equitation Medal finalist and a Pessoa US Hunter Seat Medal finalist while qualifying for the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals and Maclay Regional Finals in 2012.
“I am both excited and honored to be part of the UT Martin equestrian team,” Epperson said. “I’m looking forward to continuing my education at an excellent school with a great coaching staff and team members.”
Crinklaw was an honor roll student at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, NH. As a junior, she qualified for both the ASPCA Macley regionals and USEF Pessoa Medal Finals. She is responsible for multiple three-foot championships at shows such as the 2011 HITS Ocala and 2011 Fieldstone Spring Festival.
An active member of several honors societies, Crinklaw is also a member of two 4-H clubs (one for horses and one for rifle).
“Even though it’s a long haul from home, I am very excited to attend UT Martin and be part of the team where I know I’ll keep busy and gain new sisters that I never had,” Crinklaw said.