The SHU equestrian team's #MannequinChallenge video has been viewed over 1.2 million times since it was first released on November 13, reaching true "viral video" status. The Mannequin Challenge, for anyone unfamiliar with the latest social media craze, challenges participants to freeze in the middle of an action as though they were mannequins, and then videotape the scene, often with Rae Stremmurd's "Black Beatles" as soundtrack.
Adding a whole new dimension of challenge, the SHU equestrian team decided to give the Mannequin Challenge a go … in the barn, with horses and dogs.
"We were brainstorming at our team meeting on Wednesday for ways to increase traffic on our Facebook and Twitter pages," said Head Coach Tiffany Hajdasz. "Junior Lauren Mahoney brought the suggestion up and the team loved the idea."
Sophomore Logan Morris acted as videographer as teammates Olivia Zwernemann, Kassandra Bayles, Alisha Giordano, Lauren Mahoney, Megan Griffin, Michelle Johnson, Victoria Caputo and Coach Christine Towne starred, as well as equine actors Seven, Jac, Sampson, Graphic, Odie, Charlie, Lucky and TC. Dogs Sheeba, a rescue out of Canada, and corgi Lola also guest-starred.
"The team we have now is special," Hajdasz described. "There isn't a divide between the classes or the squads as we have seen in the past. They want to work hard and they have tremendous dedication and commitment to the team."
"The video has been a team effort since its inception," Hajdasz answered. "More important than the number of views is that they worked together on the project. Everyone on the team played a significant role in its success: from the person with the idea, to the videographer, to sharing the link with friends and family. From the experience, they learned that every teammate's contribution was as important as their own and together they were able to accomplish more than they would have by themselves. That concept is what will make them stronger as a team and will serve them for years to come. They are proud of each other and proud of the exposure they have earned for the team."