Our Historic Equestrian Program
The Phebe T. Phillips Byrne ‘68 Equestrian Center at The Knox School, home of the only co-educational boarding school equestrian program in the Northeast, has a legendary history that is ingrained in The School’s value system. Since its humble beginnings in 1904, the School has instilled moral principles in its student body through programs like Equestrian that extend beyond the classroom and into our ever-changing and complex world.
As seen on Netflix and in the New York Times best seller The Eighty Dollar Champion:Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts, our equestrian program is renowned for the story of Harry De Leyer, a Dutch immigrant and riding trainer at The Knox School who saved Snowman from slaughter and turned the Gelding into a champion jumper. Snowman resided in the Knox barn during the 1950’s and 60’s as a school horse and was used to train student riders in the Knox Equestrian Program prior to becoming a national figure in the equestrian world.
While Knox is full of passing people (and horses), the inspiration left behind by Harry and Snowman remains legendary in the Knox Equestrian Program and illustrates how a past built upon a foundation of values can produce a future of legendary success.
Today, Knox student-riders learn that any goal can be reached through cooperation with the highest qualified teachers and trainers, an exemplary work ethic and a growth mindset. Knox equestrians are not just taught to ride horses – our expert trainers instill in them a confidence to command one of the strongest animals in creation, and an ability to weigh the risk versus the reward of every decision they make – both on and off a horse.
Knox Equestrians learn the etiquette to present themselves daily as “show ready,” from their crisp, professional uniforms to their clean and shiny riding boots. Our trainers consistently model the value of respecting the horses for the service they provide to our students and demonstrate how to show care and empathy to another living being. The teamwork and horsemanship that are necessary to be a successful Equestrian at Knox are emphasized daily and are an integral part of the character-building in every aspect of our programming, which is what makes a Knox experience so valuable.
Knox Equestrian Trainers provide consistent and constructive feedback and encouragement to our students and motivate them to work harder and grow in their horsemanship, which prompts their horses to perform at the highest caliber. There is no such thing as luck when you are a Knox Equestrian – there is only commitment and dedication to practicing until you reach excellence, each and every time you ride or complete any task. Knox equestrian students – in fact, all Knox students – leave their Home Beside the Shore with an exemplary work ethic and an unmatched drive to achieve excellence in all they do.
Knox Equestrian – come for the legendary history, stay for YOUR Blue Ribbon future.