No matter what happens at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national championships on Thursday, May 4, Remington Linker ’25 has already won.
After what she went through to get there, it’s just that simple.
Last year at this time, Linker, a member of Wofford’s equestrian club team, couldn’t even walk, let alone climb on a horse and ride. She had just undergone a second surgery to repair her right knee, which she injured in November 2021.
The injury relegated her to the role of cheerleader during her first year with the team. She says the team members supported her as much as she supported them.
“When I was hurt they kept me going,” she says. “Now that I can compete, we’ve gotten even closer.”
When she was able, Linker began months of grueling rehab. By August, she was ready to get back in the saddle.
“My first ride back was in a thunderstorm,” says Linker, an English major from Mooresville, North Carolina. “It was scary and painful, but there was such a sense of normalcy.”
Qualifying for the national championship is a three-step process. Riders must compile 32 points during the season to make it to the district championship. The top two individual finishers in the district qualify for the zone championship, and Linker placed second.
Wofford competes in Zone 5 against the likes of three-time national champion the University of South Carolina, the University of Florida and the College of Charleston. Like at the district event, the top two individuals advance to the national championships. This time, Linker finished first to earn a trip to Lexington, Kentucky, to compete for a national title.
Linker is the second team member to qualify for the national championships, but will be the first to compete. Keeley O’Keefe ’20 qualified in 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wofford coach Gwen Titus watched Linker compete throughout her high school career and pushed hard to get her to come to Spartanburg.
“Remington has worked extremely hard to get herself back to a winning form after her unfortunate knee injury, says Titus. “Succeeding and moving forward at any level of the IHSA is difficult enough within the zone, but the icing on the cake was her incredible win at zones. Reaching nationals is an incredible accomplishment.”
Linker says Titus was the main reason she came to Wofford. She wants to reward her coach’s faith in her with a strong performance in the nationals.
“I’ve been prepped by my coaches and I know I have the ability to do well,” Linker says. “But no matter how it goes, I’m going to be so happy just to be competing.”