Amy Mitchem brings national level experience with her as she joins the South Dakota State staff as a graduate assistant after a standout career at West Texas A&M University in Amarillo, Texas.
A four-year starter with the Buffalos, Mitchem competed in every competition during her career and represented herself, and her team, at the IHSA National Championships in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as a freshman and again in Lexington, Ky., as a Sophomore where she competed in both hunt seat events and in horsemanship.
A knee injury kept Mitchem from competing in her junior year, but she discovered coaching, and assisted the coaching staff during her recovery. She came back strong as a senior, winning High Point Rider honors for her region and immediately advancing on to Nationals in equitation over fences, equitation on the flat and in horsemanship.
An education major at West Texas A&M, Mitchem graduated in 2012, certified to teach in the special education and in general education classrooms.
An accomplished rider long before her days at West Texas A&M, Mitchem started riding at the age of seven and competing shortly thereafter. She excelled in competitions locally and internationally on numerous levels and on a variety of horses.
In addition to her equestrian skills, she served as an ambassador for her community as a rodeo queen, a youth mentor and as a founder of DREAM, an anti-drug and alcohol program.
Mitchem begins pursuit her master's degree in counseling in the fall of 2012 at South Dakota State and eventually wants to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor. She also wants to get further involved in feeder programs for equestrian competitions at the collegiate level, with the ultimate goal of expanding the sport and broadening the opportunity to those not currently exposed to NCAA/NCEA and IHSA programs.