DSU western riders eliminated from National Championships, while former recruit Melia Blakely signs with a new school.
What could have been the DSU equestrian team’s final season wrapped up Thursday at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Waco, Texas.
The Hornets’ western riders, seeded 11th in the 12 team field, were eliminated in round one of the competition, losing to sixth seed Kansas Sate 6-2.
Delaware State had announced in January that it intended eliminate the program at the end of the season to address budget concerns. That prompted members of the team to sue, claiming DSU was violating Title IX by shutting down the program. Incoming recruit Melia Blakely also sued the school under Title IX.
Last month, before arguments were heard for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the school from disbanding the program, Delaware State decided to keep the team intact for one more year, prompting the hearing on the preliminary injunction to be canceled. School officials say they still intend to cut the program at the end of next year, while lawyers for the riders say they will continue to pursue their suit against DSU.
The school has settled the suit brought by Blakely. Earlier this week, Blakely signed a letter of intent to attend the University of South Carolina on an equestrian scholarship starting next fall.