An interest in horseback riding is not a cheap hobby. Between the lessons and the transportation, the entry fees for different shows and the various pieces of required equipment, it’s not rare for riders to see their bank accounts dry up quickly.
To raise funds for these purposes, the ladies of the Ohio University Western Equestrian Team on Thursday became charity servers for one night at the Red Brick Sports Pub in Athens, Ohio. Between 5-8 p.m., they waited tables and collected tips, all of which went toward the club’s different initiatives.
When all was said and done, the team had collected $71.25, according to fundraising chair Molly McGirr.
“It’s really important that we raise as much money as we can in order to help the girls out,” McGirr said before waiting tables herself. “It’s a good way for us to bring out all our support — our families, our friends, things like that — to get involved with our team, and we get some outside people that just stop by to eat.”
As a participant in a club sport, the team receives very little financial help from the university. That’s why its members are always putting on different fundraising events such as the charity serving at Red Brick, which they have now done five times.
The organization is holding horse stick races on Court Street on Saturday night to raise more money. A car wash and a dodgeball tournament are also being planned for the future, McGirr said.
“The fundraising has been a little bland,” McGirr said. “A lot of Red Brick, a lot of bake sales, but we’re trying to spice it up now.”
Not that McGirr minds putting in the work. Riding is something she is truly passionate about, just as it is for club president Taylor Longman.
Longman said she has been around horses her entire life, and her excitement about riding is evident when the subject is brought up. Although her squad only has 13 members — all women — she invites anyone and everyone to see what the Ohio University Western Equestrian Team is all about, no experience necessary.
“We’re pretty awesome,” Longman said. “I’m not gonna lie.”