One of Ohio State University's most winning club sports teams has a home less than a mile from Dublin Jerome High School.

One of Ohio State University's most winning club sports teams has a home less than a mile from Dublin Jerome High School.

The Autumn Rose Farm at 7540 Hyland Croy Road hosts the OSU equestrian team, providing horses, coaching and knowledge to team members.

Ollie Griffith, owner of Autumn Rose Farm started the team 26 years ago after a few students came to his farm with an interest.

Since then, he's coached a team that has taken nine National Championship titles and six Reserve National Championship titles -- which equates to second place -- from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

"I was told by someone on the athletic staff that the OSU equestrian team is the most successful team of Ohio State," Griffith said, noting he thinks that honor might instead go to the synchronized swimming team.

But Griffith is proud of the 30-member team that garnered a Reserve National Champion honor this year.

Most teams come from schools that focus on riding and get to practice multiple times a week.

The OSU team members must practice once a week to get to participate.

"I tell the parents the most important things are grades, horses, then their boyfriend or girlfriend," Griffith said.

"Most people think winning is the most important thing.

"We are a club sport at Ohio State and the most important thing is to enjoy ourselves," Griffith said.

The season for the team runs with the academic year and begins with regional competition at which students compete against colleges including Ohio University and Miami University.

A win at the regional level means advancing to the semifinals where students compete against nine of the 27 best teams in the country.

After that comes national competition where nine universities vie for the top title.

The intercollegiate association the OSU team is a member of has beginning, intermediate, novice, advanced, open and reining levels, each awarding the same amount of points.

Griffith said each rider whether beginner or advanced can snag the same amount of points, making each team member very important.

Students can also snag individual honors.

Austin Griffith, Ollie's son and an OSU team member won the open-reining champion title this year, in addition to three other honors.

"It's a lot of fun especially when you go in, you're not just making decisions for yourself like in basketball or football," the Jerome High School graduate said of the sport. "It's pretty cool."

Austin Griffith said he couldn't remember a time when his parents weren't coaching the OSU team and always wanted to be a member.

"I always wanted to go to OSU too," he said.

But not all team members have ridden horses for 15 years, like Griffith.

As an OSU freshman Lidia Pedrozo, of Canton, is in her first year on the team.

That didn't stop her from making it to the national contest.

"I learned from the whole hard work concept," she said.

"I haven't been riding my whole life, but I came out here and worked hard and it paid off."

In fact, Pedrozo said she'd never been in a show before and her only experience came from riding at her aunt and uncle's.

"I've always liked horses, but I'd never shown," she said.

"I came out here for a meeting and a first lesson and it was so much fun."

After that she was hooked, Pedrozo said.

Ollie Griffith, along with his wife, Debbie, and a few others also coach middle and high school equestrian teams made up of riders from throughout central Ohio.

The farm also offers lessons to riders of all ages and skills.

"We want to make sure people are safe, have fun and are learning," Griffith said.

For more information about Autumn Rose Farms, call 614-764-1881; or send email to Griffith at