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News Release
FVS Senior Malia Sherer signs her official letter of intent for Long Island University.
FVS Senior Malia Sherer signs her official letter of intent for Long Island University.
Fountain Valley Schools Celebrates the Signing of Two Division 1 Equestrian Riders (Photo) - 11/10/23

In the middle of Colorado — amidst the Prairie campus that Fountain Valley School students call “home” — two seniors, Abigail Tibbits and Malia Sherer, gathered in the Julie and Spencer Penrose Athletic Center on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, to celebrate National Signing Day. Joined by their families and the School’s proud team of riding coaches, Tibbits and Sherer signed letters of intent to compete at two U.S. Division 1 schools.

Tibbits, an avid rider since age seven, will take her expertise in Western riding to the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) in the fall. Sherer, a standout in English riding, has committed to Long Island University (LIU). 

Having chosen UTM for its focus on agricultural science, its small to mid-size environment, and its favorable location between Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., Tibbits is eager to work with 2022-23 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Coach of the Year Kim Leiter-Janes. Leiter-Janes likewise shared her enthusiasm toward the signing.“We are pleased to welcome Abby Tibbits to the UT Martin Equestrian family. Abby is a well-rounded horsewoman, and we are excited to see what she will accomplish during her time here at UTM.”

Throughout her equestrian career, Tibbits has earned national recognition at the 4-H and Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) levels. Her hard work and passion for the sport are evident in her role as co-captain of the Fountain Valley School IEA Hunt Seat team and active participation in the Aspire Equestrian Team in Parker, Colo., where she specializes in Reining and is recognized by her coach, Bridget Rohde, as being "responsible, diligent, and hard-working" not only in the ring but also in the less glamorous aspects of horse care. 

Embracing a family history that’s deeply rooted in competitive sports, Sherer’s athletic journey has been marked by a dedication and love for horses that stretches far beyond her school obligations, as she has just begun training her second horse. “I love the connection you build with the horse. They may be only a small part of your life, but you are their whole world. Finding a horse that will give you their all no matter what is truly a special feeling.”

Sherer’s horse management skills and versatility are easily seen by way of her performance in Hunt Seat competitions. Her recent focus on show jumping also highlights her adaptability and commitment to English riding. Hoping to expand upon an already impressive list of accomplishments, including a two-time acceptance into the Emerging Athletics Program (EAP) Regional Session and multiple qualifications for IEA Zone 8 Finals, Sherer aims to become a top-level horse trainer while studying at LIU.

She selected LIU for its AACSB-accredited School of Business, proximity to Long Island beaches and New York City, and her belief in its college riding program to provide the foundation for helping her achieve her goals. As she embarks on this exciting next chapter at LIU, Sherer’s FVS family and her strongest supporters–her parents, Margie and Chris, and her Aunt Sue–eagerly anticipate her continued success. 

Fountain Valley School (FVS) is home to more than 60 horses and welcomes both English and Western riders representing all genders and skill levels—from competitive and experienced to never-before-ridden. Riding, the oldest athletic program offered at FVS, began with the School’s inception in 1930, as students learned to work with ranch horses and animals to complete their daily chores. Today, the School’s English and Western riders proudly compete in the IEA, attend lessons five days per week after school, benefit from an indoor and outdoor riding arena along with 1,100 acres of open Prairie, and learn the value of horse management. 



Founded in 1930, Fountain Valley School of Colorado is a boarding and day school for grades 9-12. Situated on 1,100 acres of rolling prairie in Colorado Springs, the School provides a rigorous, global curriculum in academics, arts, athletics, and the outdoors to develop young adults who are courageous, open-minded, self-reliant, curious, and compassionate. Enrollment is approximately 240 students from 23 countries, 21 states, and the Pikes Peak Region.