Wesleyan College’s equestrian program dates back to the establishment of the Rivoli campus in 1928. Stables and pastures were originally located across Forsyth Road on land that the college later sold. When the college acquired Bradley House in the 1950s, three equestrian buildings came with it, and these became the basis of the college’s revived riding program.
The profile of the equestrian program was raised yet again during President Robert Ackerman’s tenure, when the college began a formal program of intercollegiate competition in several sports. The new stable was constructed in the summer of 1999. Named and dedicated to honor the memory of Nancy Ellis Knox in 2005, the center reflects the late champion horsewoman's charisma, success, professionalism, and devotion to the equestrian arts.
Although she never attended Wesleyan as a student herself, Nancy belonged to a long line of Wesleyan students, benefactors, and devotees. Her mother, Mary Lyles Aiken Knox '34, and many other relatives attended and graduated from the college; her cousin, Ruth Knox '75, is the current president; several Knox men have served on the board of trustees or married Wesleyannes; and the Knox Foundation continues to support Wesleyan in myriad ways today.
Wesleyan's program has grown to national-competition status with national championships in recent years.
The 24-stall barn also provides classroom, meeting and office space for the Equestrian Program in addition to tack rooms, wash racks, and feed rooms. There are turn-out paddocks which provide horses with twelve hour night and twelve hour day schedules. The program also enjoys a lighted riding arena with automatic sprkinlers with another connected 20X40 meter arena. Wesleyan's program has grown to national-competition status with two national champions in western events in recent years.
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