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Published May 02, 2012, 10:23 PM

Bison equestrian team keeping up university's sporting excellence

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - NDSU has found the national spotlight several times in recent years - from a trip to March Madness to top of the mountain in FCS football. But there's another sport on the north side that's become a powerhouse - the Bison equestrian team.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

NDSU has found the national spotlight several times in recent years - from a trip to March Madness to top of the mountain in FCS football. But there's another sport on the north side that's become a powerhouse - the Bison equestrian team.

We've had teams in past and they have done outstanding, kind of like a hidden treasure.

This hidden treasure is the NDSU Equine Center, where Shannon Voges and Hannah Beyer are the latest riders to qualify for the national competition, the 6th straight year the Bison will be represented.

Tara Swanson – NDSU Senior Rider: “When we travel we're going to big locations. We went to semifinals in Delaware, North Carolina for Nationals. It’s a way to get the NDSU name out there and see, ‘yes we have an equestrian team and we're successful.’”

Swanson has led the equestrian team for the last 6 years, and the success the Bison have enjoyed has led to new opportunities for future riders.

Shannon Voges – NDSU Senior Rider: “When I graduated from high school I really didn’t know that you could go to college to show horses. To me it was awesome.”

Now if you thought being one of the best 12 equestrian riders in the nation wasn’t tough enough, there's the added challenge for the riders to meet in North Carolina - getting on a horse they've never seen before.

Shannon Voges: “It really brings out the horsemanship in rider. It’s what makes it that much more enjoyable because you don’t ride the same horse every day.”

Hannah Beyer – NDSU Junior Rider: “It's like riding a bike, if you love to do it, you'll do well.”

There are two forms of equestrian. NDSU is competing in the formal portion. There are more patterns and lines, than the more popular show jumping that you see on TV in different competitions. The event starts tomorrow in Raleigh.

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