Julie Gibbes brought
national championship experience with her when she joined the South Dakota
State staff in 2010 as a graduate assistant working with the hunt seat riders after
a standout career at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.
A four-year letterwinner
with the Tigers, Gibbes competed in every competition during the 2005-06 season
and rode at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Albuquerque, N.M,
when the Tigers won the overall national title. Individually, Gibbes earned a
place on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll for her work in and
out of the ring.
The following season as a
junior, Gibbes competed in every competition, losing just once during a season
that saw her go undefeated at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships.
She kept rolling for the
2007-08 season, when she again competed in every competition and ranked as high
as No. 3 individually on the Varsity Equestrian poll in collegiate reining
going into the post season, where she eventually finished third in the nation.
A double major at Auburn,
Gibbes graduated in 2008 with degrees in exercise science and health promotion with
a minor in psychology
An accomplished rider long
before her days at Auburn, Gibbes started riding at the age of five and started
competing at age 12. She excelled in competitions locally and internationally
on numerous levels and on a variety of horses.
In addition to her
equestrian skills, she earned four varsity letters on the Hammond High School basketball
team, where she served as a team captain in both her junior and senior seasons.
Gibbes began pursuit of her master's degree in sports pedagogy this fall
at South Dakota State and eventually wants to coach varsity equestrian and push
the sport to NCAA Championship status. She also wants to get further involved
in athletic administration, with the ultimate goal of becoming an athletic director.