Alfred State Director of Athletics Jason Doviak has named Rose Stayer-Ruffner the head coach of the Pioneers Western Equestrian team. Stayer-Ruffner has been coaching equestrian since 2003 and becomes the first coach of the program since the move to an intercollegiate sport.
Doviak is excited to add Stayer-Ruffner to the staff. "She is extremely knowledgeable about riding and her passion for the sport will undoubtedly benefit our student-athletes. As we commence on our first year as a varsity sport, Rose is the perfect fit to bring our program to the next level."
Stayer-Ruffner is thrilled to be named the head coach. "Having coached the team last year, I look forward to advancing their riding skills and level of horsemanship, and supporting their academic endeavors. The addition of the Western Team to the varsity level is a wonderful advancement and I am eager to promote the sport and the team's hard work within the college campus. I also look forward to the recruitment of future students."
Stayer-Ruffner led the Alfred State western equestrian club team last year. She instructed riders in horsemanship and reining focusing on appropriate form and techniques to bring out the most potential in the horse and developing skills necessary to be an effective rider. Ten of her original 16 riders qualified for Regionals, four qualified for the semi-finals and one rider competed at the IHSA Nationals earning a 6th place finish in open reining. The team earned one high-point team and six reserve high-point rankings.
Since 2003, Stayer-Ruffner has been an instructor and trainer at Homestead Stable (Allegany, NY). There she provides lessons for students, 5 to adult, in the disciplines of western and hunt seat. Her lessons emphasized rider development and ranged from students competing in 4-H, Open, Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows.
She has also been very active attending seminars and clinics. She has attended the Shawn Flarida Reining Clinic, the Bonnie Miller Horsemanship Clinic, the Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship Clinic, the Mike Bednearek Ranch Horse Seminar, the Stacy Westfall Horsemanshp Clinic, and the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Clinic.
As a 10-year competitor, Stayer-Ruffner won numerous AQHA youth high-point awards, was the Empire State and WNY Quarter Horse Association high-point and reserve youth champion, and earned multiple qualifications for Empire State Youth Team and All-American Quarter Horse Congress competitions.
Stayer-Ruffner, a high school counselor at Allegany Limestone Central School, has a bachelor's degree in psychology from SUNY Geneseo and a master's degree in counselor education from St. Bonaventure.
Western Equestrian became the 19th sport offered by Alfred State and will begin competition this fall in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).