Childhood hobby evolves into collegiate dream as senior signs with A&M equestrian team

Abby Mendez

The horse and rider appear to be one as they move around the arena, each anticipating the next move, each relying on the other to perform at their highest level.

Senior Evelyn Beesaw has been riding since she was in third grade but didn’t start doing it competitively until seventh grade.

“My mom had horses when she was younger, so she knew a lot about them,” Evelyn said. “Then my neighbor had horses, so I would always ask if I could ride theirs when I was little.”

Evelyn enjoys the bond that forms between horse and rider. Her horse’s name is Dealer Wins The Hand (Dealer) and thinks he’s the happiest horse in the barn.

“It’s cool to have a close bond with an animal and to know them so closely that you can lead them into doing what you want,” Evelyn said. “They have big hearts.”

Evelyn is currently showing on the Appaloosa circuit and competes in the spring during their show season followed by a world champion competition in the summer. The competitions are also a big part of Evelyn’s life as they are something she enjoys.

“Going in and having a really clean pattern is something that’s really satisfying,” Evelyn said. “It makes you feel good about yourself.”

Evelyn’s sister Claire looks up to her as a role model within the sport as she also rides.

“I’ve seen her grow a lot and gain a lot of confidence when she’s showing,” Claire said. “As she shows and competes, she becomes a more confident person.”

Her mother, Kristen Beesaw, is proud of how far her daughter has come since first starting out.

“The more she competed and learned, the more she wanted to accomplish,” Beesaw said. “This continual drive for success and the guidance and support of her coach impacted her development as a rider.”

Evelyn has enjoyed much success within the sport and continues to improve each time she rides.

“This summer I won my first world championship,” Evelyn said. “I was actually on my sisters horse, so that was a good family moment.”

Signing with Texas A&M has been Evelyn’s dream since the sixth grade. Having finally achieved, that Evelyn is excited about her future in equestrian sports.

“I’ve wanted to be on the equestrian team for as long as I can remember,” Evelyn said. “The first real coach I had was on the equestrian team, and my current coach used to be a coach at A&M and she really helped push me on that path. It’s really cool that I get to be an Aggie.”

Evelyn’s family has supported her riding throughout her entire life, and sees riding as a family activity they can do together.

“My family grew really close during weekend shows,” Evelyn said. “We go on Friday, we stay there Saturday, then we come home Sunday. I like that we get to have such a close family event and spend so much time together, and since Claire does it too we get to bond over it and are close.”

That bond Evelyn shares with her family is something that will never break, and they continue to look forward to many more memories. Evelyn plans to continue riding in the future as a recreational sport, and Claire hopes to attend A&M for equestrian riding just like her sister.

“Our experiences with horses have afforded our family many instances of joy and just as many opportunities to help our girls learn valuable life lessons,” Beesaw said. “Over the years, our family has continued to evolve into a close-knit team that is bonded together by hard work, competition, and laughter.”