For avid horseback rider Katie Lynch '13, the opportunity to travel to Kentucky to attend the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games -- considered by many equestrian enthusiasts to be more important than the Olympics -- was too good to pass up. But there was one problem.
"Going to Kentucky was going to be incredibly expensive," Lynch said. "Some hotels were charging $600 a night."
Lynch, who had applied to volunteer at the event, nearly gave up. Instead, she decided to reach out to a few alumnae who live in the Lexington region -- Camels in horse country, if you will.
With the help of the College's robust alumni network, Lynch connected with Lexington residents Lee Archambeault '66 and Marguerite Waddell '75. Waddell arranged for Lynch to stay with her friend, and all three attended the vaulting competition together.
"I wouldn't have been able to go without their help," Lynch said. "They are showing me extreme southern hospitality."
Lynch, who captains the College's equestrian team, was in Kentucky Oct. 3-9 to help with media transport and work as an international greeter for the games, which are at the Kentucky Horse Park Sept. 25 - Oct. 10.
It was the first time the games were in the United States, and Lynch couldn't wait to see the high level of competition. She Lynch has been riding since she was 2 years old.
As a member of the College's equestrian club team, she competes in up to 10 shows a year through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.
"My trip is during the College's fall break [Oct. 7-10], so I'm only missing two days of classes," Lynch said before leaving. "My professors allowed me to reschedule an exam, and I'm taking some work with me."
A government and environmental studies double major, Lynch is considering law school and would like to eventually work in land conservation. She also plans to make sure horses are always part of her life.
"I love horses, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to continue to ride while in college," she said.