HANOVER, N.H. – Dartmouth equestrian head coach Sally Batton has announced that she will retire following the 2018-19 season.
At the time of her scheduled retirement, Batton will have been the team’s head coach for 29 seasons as she came to Hanover in 1990. In total, she will have been spent 35 years coaching at the collegiate level.
The 2008 American Riding Instructors' Association Instructor of the Year, Batton has been a staple of the Big Green Athletic Department as she is the fourth-longest tenured current head coach on staff.
During her time at the helm of the program, she has led the Dartmouth equestrian team to five Ivy titles, in 1997, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2016. Batton has also sent numerous Dartmouth riders to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships, including Olivia Champ this year where she finished fourth in the country in Individual Open Fences.
“I’m proudest of the success of the Dartmouth equestrian team, with six IHSA Zone I Region 2 Champion titles, five Ivy titles, an IHSA Zone I title and our 2014 IHSA Nationals placing in the top-10,” Batton said. “In my time here, the team has also had numerous Cacchione Cup Regional Winners and Nationals individual qualifiers.
“My time here at Dartmouth has seen the equestrian program go through many changes,” she continued. “I came in 1990 to a barn of 33 horses, with half school horses and half boarders, and a packed daily schedule which included team practices, team lessons and many more. In 2011, the equestrian team moved fully under the Dartmouth Athletics Department, downsized to 10 horses, which has been the best change for the team and has produced year-end team finishes in the top-three each year.”
It is not just the individuals at Dartmouth who have shown Batton their appreciation as she was honored with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 for the body of work across her lengthy and impressive career.
Batton has served as the president or on the board of numerous entities related to her field and lifelong passion. In retirement, she plans on continuing to teach riding lessons and working with the Athletic Equestrian League she founded in 2010.
“I will miss the daily rhythm of the farm, the horses, the farmhouse, our farm manager Doug Illsley and all our barn workers, but will especially miss the daily interactions with the outstanding, vibrant, funny, intelligent students who ARE Dartmouth equestrian!”