Schurink to Lead Bridgewater Riding
Spent 18 Years Leading UMass Equine Programs
BRIDGEWATER, Va. –Bridgewater College
President George Cornelius and director of athletics Curt
Kendall have announced the hiring of Gerard “Jerry”
Schurink as the college’s director of riding.
Schurink becomes the program’s second director of riding, succeeding Sarah Irvine, who announced her retirement in February. Irvine led the Bridgewater riding program since its inception in 2000.
“We are pleased to have Jerry Schurink join Bridgewater and continue the high level of success we’ve come to expect from the College’s riding program,” said Cornelius. “Our goal is for the program to remain a major contender at the national level. Jerry’s expertise, values and reputation will help us reach that goal, as he continues building on the great work of former director of riding Sarah Irvine.”
Schurink comes to Bridgewater after a long and successful tenure at the University of Massachusetts. He became the director of riding at UMass in 1994 and in 1996 added the responsibility of coaching the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) riding team. From 2002-10, he was also the director of equine studies.
In 2008, Schurink led the UMass IHSA team to the Region 3, Zone 1 title and a trip to the national show when his team defeated perennial riding power Mount Holyoke College for the zone title.
Schurink’s riding career dates back to the late 1970s. In 1979 he received his Beriter certification, the college degree for riders and trainers in Germany. He was named the United States Dressage Federation Young Rider of the Year in 1980 and in 1982-84 was selected to train at the U.S. Equestrian Team facility in Hamilton, Mass., with Jack LeGoff.
In 1984-86, Schurink was co-coach of the USEA (United States Eventing Association) Area 1 Young Rider championship team, resulting in bronze, silver and gold medals respectively.
In 1997 he was invited to train with U.S. Evening Team Coach, Captain Mark Phillips in Millbrook, N.Y. He is also a founding member of the USEA Instructor Certification Program.
Currently, Schurink is an instructor, trainer, coach and competitor in dressage, eventing and jumper/equitation. He is also a multi-discipline equestrian clinician and an equine business consultant.
Schurink also holds many professional certifications and awards, including the 2011 United States Pony Club Academy of Achievement Award and National Youth Congress Leader; the USEA Area 1 American Young Riders/Junior Riders championship coach and the U.S. Dressage Federation Candidate “L Judges Program” participant.
“Jerry comes to Bridgewater from a very good riding program,” Kendall said. “He understands the IHSA program and has taken riders to the national show in the past. This is important to us as we continue to move our program forward. He also has outstanding organizational skills which should prove extremely beneficial not only to the riding program, but the management of the equestrian facility as well.”
Schurink received his associate’s degree in animal science from Thomson School, University of New Hampshire in 1982 and his bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of New Hampshire in 1985.
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College (www.bridgewater.edu) is home to nearly 1,700 undergraduate students. The college boasts a successful intercollegiate sports program that sponsors 20 NCAA Division III sports and a competitive, intercollegiate Equestrian program (www.bridgewatereagles.com).
This release and video are courtesy of the Bridgewater College sports information department.