Amanda Geller Carter was a senior majoring in ag communications when she became the first female OSU Spirit Rider. She was chosen for the position in 1988 after beating out six or more male counterparts in a competition for the honor.
At the time of her selection, Amanda or “Mandy” had been competing in barrel racing since the age of 12 and was no stranger to the crowds. However, while she earned the spirit rider title fair and square, she was told she would not be riding the horse in the stadium after touchdowns at OSU football games. That privilege was given instead to a male “co-rider.”
Mandy’s spirit rider activities included riding in the homecoming parade, joining others in tending to the horse during home football games, and making personal appearances. She was happy to have the opportunity to travel with the band and her co-rider to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Mandy spent her year as the spirit rider with a positive attitude that serves her especially well these days as the executive director of Therapeutic Equestrian Association of McAlester or the TEAM, a non-profit equine (horse) assisted therapeutic and educational program.
Mandy still rides competitively and her horse, Jets Golden Rose, joins her in barrel racing and in therapy work with special needs children, teens and young adults. Mandy also handles instructing, scheduling, managing the horses, public relations, administrative and fundraising duties for the TEAM.