Wilson College’s intercollegiate athletics program has added Western and English (hunt seat) riding teams to its varsity program and has appointed a new Director of Equestrian Teams, Cathy Woosley Luse, to oversee them. Both teams will transition from college club teams to competing as varsity teams in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). “Our equestrian program is one of the signature experiences at Wilson,” Wesley R. Fugate, Wilson College president, said. “By elevating our riding teams to varsity status, we are elevating our competitive riding programs to the level that properly reflects their importance to the college. We look forward to the success of both teams, a wonderful complement to our strong equine-related academic programs.”
A second-generation world champion horse trainer with over 30 years of experience training and coaching, Woosley Luse has coached numerous world champion riders and champion teams at the professional and collegiate levels in Texas and Kentucky. An accomplished rider herself, she was a world champion at the National Reining Horse Association Intermediate Open Division level.
Her accomplishments and successes in coaching and competing in regional, national, and international competitions are too extensive to list. Some highlights include being a lifetime American Quarter Horse member, an American Quarter Horse Association recognized Professional Horseman, a worldwide carded judge with the National Reining Horse Association and the American Stock Horse Association, and a winning Head IHSA Equestrian and Stock Horse Coach at North Central Texas College. She was molded as a youth by the respected professional, trainer, multi-breed carded judge, and National Reining Horse Association Hall of Fame Inductee, her father, Clayton Woosley.
“I am very excited to be involved in building Wilson College’s Western equestrian team. I love the challenge of accomplishing unexpected results,” Woosley Luse said. “While coming in too late for the fall recruiting process, I am going to enjoy converting some of the brave [hunt seat] riders who are open to learning more about the art of Western riding.” Woosley Luse will direct the Western and English teams and serve as head coach of the Western team. McKenna Debus will continue to coach the hunt seat team.
“We are thrilled to have Woosley Luse join us as we continue to develop our competitive equestrian teams. She brings a wealth of experience that will serve both our Western and hunt seat teams extremely well,” Tina Hill, the college’s athletics director, said. “Her experience and leadership skills will accelerate our programs into top contenders in our region of the IHSA. We can’t wait to get started!”
Woosley Luse agreed to join the Wilson College athletics team after visiting “one of the most beautiful college campuses I’ve seen.” She added, “I’d like to use my worldwide industry connections to expand Wilson’s resources for both of the teams. I think in the very near future, Wilson equestrian team members will represent us successfully at a regional and national level.”