Ivy League College Recruits Equestrian Athlete

History is often made on the spring day in which all Ivy League universities release their admission decisions to the thousands of students who have applied (a day commonly known as “Ivy Day”). Precipitously low admit rates and interesting characteristics of the new incoming classes are recorded and analyzed by those in higher education circles, but as of March 30, 2023, the date will also now hold a significant place in the world of equestrian sport.

Yesterday, Dartmouth College – a single-discipline member of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) since 2021 – became the first Ivy League school to specifically recruit an equestrian athlete into the first-year class.

Although Cornell and Brown are under the NCAA umbrella, Dartmouth is the first to Ivy League school to officially join the NCEA. The college is also the first to compete in the NCEA’s unique head-to-head format. With the awarding of an admission spot to an equestrian scholar-athlete, they have also now recognized the sport of riding in a way that other highly selective institutions have yet to – though sources say that Dartmouth’s decision may cause Brown and Cornell to lean toward making similar choices in the future.

The student was Samantha Takacs, who met all the rigorous application requirements of the Ivy League university. She attended a brick and mortar school throughout her junior years and had ridden to top equitation placings at major horse shows.

According to US News, “Dartmouth College admissions is most selective Ivy with an acceptance rate of 6%. Half the applicants admitted to Dartmouth College have an SAT score between 1440 and 1560 or an ACT score of 33 and 35.”

Samantha Takacs has won numerous national championships throughout her junior career including The National Horse Show, The Washington International Horse Show, Devon and Pony Finals.

This landmark provides yet another pathway for highly accomplished students and equestrians in future years at Dartmouth and the expectation that other Ivy League universities could follow suit.

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