Two Qualify for IDA National Championships

By Jackie Dwelle

St. Andrews Dressage Team at Averett University
St. Andrews Dressage Team, Regional Reserve Champions at Averett University

Senior Isabelle Duckett and Freshman Elizabeth Donaldson will be representing St. Andrews at the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championships at Lake Erie College in Ohio April 26 – 28, 2019. Duckett won the region at the Lower Training Level with 21 points. Team mate and fellow Senior Hannah Sutton was Reserve Champion with 19 points.

Charlie Pops, Jaime's Secret Weapon.
Charlie Pops, Jaime’s Secret Weapon.

Elizabeth (Jaime) Donaldson tied with Kaitlyn Van Meter from Wake Forest for the Introductory Level Dressage Seat Equitation Regional Title and will be representing Region I in Ohio. Donaldson is in her first year riding dressage having previously ridden saddle seat.

“She has a secret weapon,” said Dressage Coach Jackie Dwelle. “His name is Charlie Pops!” Charlie Pops is owned by former St. Andrews Barn Manager Jennifer Sansbury and has been working in the dressage program for several years. “He is such a steady horse, that he gives everyone confidence and encouragement. Jaime has been riding him regularly, they have a great understanding, Charlie has taught her a lot about dressage and English style riding.”

Senior Gaby Stephens
Senior Gaby Stephens

Senior Gaby Stephens ended the season as Reserve Champion at First Level with 19 points behind the Champion from Averett, Elizaveta Anikeeva’s 20 points. “The division was close all year long. Losing the last show to Mother Nature was difficult to take and something that we had no control over. Gaby could easily have taken the region given the opportunity to ride at the last show,” said Coach Dwelle.

The St. Andrews Dressage team closed the season as Reserve Champions behind Averett University.

A Season Bookended by Mother Nature

The competitive season was abbreviated for the St. Andrews IDA team this year. In September Hurricane Florence closed the school for two and a half weeks causing the team to miss the first show of the season. The final show of the year was moved to its rain date and then finally cancelled altogether due to unusable footing at the Wake Forest facility.

Reserve Champions Gaby Stephens and Hannah Sutton
Reserve Champions Gaby Stephens and Hannah Sutton

Year End Standings

Averett University 67

St. Andrews 57


Wake Forest University 46

Longwood University 29

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