This word commonly describes the Texas Tech Ranch Horse team.
Success is part of the expectation of the six-time national champion team. Not only is the team hardworking and dedicated to showing horses, but they also strive to learn and grow in their professional lives.
Just ask Justin Stanton, coach of the Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team, who was once a team member himself.
“Being a part of the team was an amazing experience for me” Stanton said. “I trained cow horses and being on the team really put me out there and let me make a lot of connections.”
He didn’t want to leave after his time on the team, so he started volunteering as the assistant coach under Chance O’Neil.
“Just because I wanted to pay it forward,” Stanton said.
Soon after Chance O’Neil left, Stanton was promoted to head coach. Pursuing national championship titles comes with a lot of hours in the saddle and practice in the arena. But behind the scenes, this team is so much more, according to Stanton. What makes this team unique is that outside of competing the members are working on more than just their showing abilities.
“It’s not just showing your horse, you want to be on the team you’re going to work with,” said Stanton.
“Every team member must be on a committee, there are five different committees within the team and every member is on one of them, whether it’s marketing, merchandise, administration, cattle, or facility.”
He went on to explain the members choose a committee based on prospective career paths. Everything is 100 percent student-led through these committees, including all funds and facilities.
Team members know they can’t have a great place like the Texas Tech Equestrian Center to practice and work their horses without the work of each committee. The students meet multiple times a week to keep everything going.
“It’s run like a business, and it has its own departments,” Stanton said. “You are held accountable, and that’s not for a lot of people.”
Competition is fierce for membership, said Lindsey Farrell – senior agriculture communications major,
“The whole reason I came to Texas Tech was for the Ranch Horse team. I was inspired by past members who have gone on to be professional horse trainers or be great in the industry.”
Farrell has enjoyed her time on the team and is now vice president and member of the marketing committee, helping her with her future career goals. “My favorite thing about the team is the people I have grown to know,” Farrell said. “I know I can call these people at any time of the day if I need something because everyone is kind of like family.”