The Equestrian Club of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College is a co-ed club and team, with riders of all riding abilities. The team competes with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association in Zone 7, Region 4.
The Irish Equestrian Club consists of two levels of membership. Team members compete in events throughout Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois, while club members ride weekly but do not compete.
The origins of the team date back to the 1987 Special Olympics held at the Notre Dane and Saint Mary’s campuses. The schedule of events included an Equestrian Arts demonstration, but neither campus had the facilities required to host such an event. Associate Notre Dame librarian Stephen Hayes, a rider with more than a decade of experience, served as the barn manager during the Olympics. He and several other students were hard at work prior to the events, building a tent and a ring from scratch. After the closing ceremonies, people asked why the colleges didn’t have a riding club. Hayes decided to start one, thus beginning the long tradition the team continues today.