claire beesaw

Claire Beesaw, right, has trained with Benjamin since 2015. The Bryan graduate is now a member of the Texas A&M equestrian team.

Bryan’s Claire Beesaw is a strong believer in writing down goals.

In an annual session with her journal, Beesaw writes down her goals for both in school and sports for the upcoming year, a habit she started as a young equestrian rider.

Her goals are rarely about accolades and instead focused on preparation and improvement. One goal that has consistently made it on Beesaw’s list was her dream of competing in college.

Growing up Beesaw and her older sister Evelyn often watched Texas A&M’s equestrian team compete. After nine years of competitive showing, Beesaw signed with A&M, joining her sister on the Aggie squad and checking off the box in her journal.

“I would watch those girls and be like, ‘Wow, I really want to do that one day,’ but I never knew that it would actually happen,” Claire Beesaw said. “It’s surreal to think I would come to meets and watch them ride and watch all their horses, and now I’m actually getting to ride them and go to school here. I think it’s kind of been a dream come true really because it’s been my goal.”

Beesaw started riding horses almost by accident.

Her family lives on land about 30 minutes outside of College Station, and her neighbor who owned a horse invited the Beesaw sisters to ride one day. A quick ride turned into taking lessons and eventually competing in horse shows, which brought her to Beth Bass, a former A&M assistant coach and current equestrian trainer in College Station. Beesaw, now a “graduate” of Bass’ training, has taken on a new role at the barn by helping train younger students.

Bass owns the Capstone Ranch, which specializes in horse training and boarding services, and she trains riders as young as 4 to high school seniors. Beesaw said she specifically worked with a young student whom she would pick up from school and carpool to the ranch everyday. Beesaw said it’s fun to watch young riders grow as athletes, and the students often cheer Evelyn on in their A&M gear at meets, something the two sisters enjoy.

“I have quite a few young ones right now, and they all look up to [Beesaw],” Bass said. “It’s kind of neat that she’s come full circle from being youngest and the least experienced to the oldest and the most experienced.”

Bass also said she enjoys seeing her former riders move on to college and attends their meets when she can.

“That’s been fun to watch riders that have gone to colleges, get to do that,” Bass said. “But [Beesaw] had the great benefit of not only had I coached at A&M but also her sister has gone through, so I think she’s prepared.”

Beesaw has met five or six of her new teammates while training at the Hildebrand Equine Complex this month with coronavirus precautions in place. But Beesaw has been bonding with one of her teammates since she was born — her sister Evelyn, a junior horsemanship rider for A&M. Beesaw said she looked at schools outside of A&M during the recruitment process and considered signing with South Carolina after going on a visit. She chose A&M to fulfill her dream of being an Aggie, and Evelyn couldn’t be happier to have another Beesaw on the team.

“I’m so excited,” Evelyn said. “Claire is my best friend, which is funny because we did not get along at all growing up, but I think when she went to [Bryan] with me, we became like best friends. When she was offered to come here, I was so excited, and it’s going to be really fun having her around.”

A&M hasn’t released a 2020 equestrian schedule, but Kevin and Kristen Beesaw will certainly be in the stands when the season resumes, cheering on their daughters, Beesaw said.

“Our parents are awesome. They come to all the shows. They video us and help us remember things,” Beesaw said. “They even learned what diagonals were and all our ‘horsey’ terms so they’ll be like, ‘You did the pattern right.’ They’ll learn the pattern and make sure we do them right.”

In the meantime, Beesaw is treating this offseason as she would any season by focusing on her preparation. She’s written down her goals for the year, what she needs to or has improved on during her practices and even has a list of the horses she’s ridden at Hildebrand and her experience with them. The exercise hopefully will help her when she has to ride new horses for each competition. Beesaw also works out at A&M’s recreation center and hasn’t missed a day since it reopened.

Beesaw said her goal for her first Aggie season is to put her best foot forward and prepare as much as possible. As for her academic goals, she hopes to get all As in her first semester as an engineering major.

For now, Beesaw will continue enjoying extra time with her sister and parents in quarantine and patiently wait for her first collegiate meet.

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