Conner Smith is a 2018 graduate of St. Andrews University with a degree in Business Administration: Specialized Program of Study in Equine Business Management believes a passion for IHSA led to a career in the Quarter Horse industry. During his time at St. Andrews Conner was a part of the IHSA Varsity Western Team as well as the riding council president for the 2017-2018 school year. Conner became a student at St. Andrews in 2014 and joined the western team as an Intermediate level rider. During his first year Conner showed at many of the regular season shows but did not qualify as a regional rider.
During his Sophomore year Conner pointed out of intermediate during the first regular season horse show, which qualified him for Regionals. He then began to show advanced and continued to Semi-finals and Nationals as the intermediate individual and advanced team rider. Conner placed third at Nationals in the team advanced.
On February 23rd The St. Andrews IHSA Hunter Seat Equestrian Team demonstrated the grit and determination needed to come from behind to win the regional title. Consequently, the team advances to the IHSA Hunter Seat Zone Championships hosted by the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA on April 6th.
As a Senior who has been part of St. Andrews Varsity Hunter Seat team for all four years of my college career, I have noticed many positive factors of being part of this program. When I first joined the team as a freshman, I was rather nervous. Coming in as a young rider and joining a team of mainly juniors and seniors who were competing extremely well was rather nerve racking. That being said, horse show nerves were a big deal for me. I came into the team with a lot of horse showing experience, but being part of a team where points count not only towards you individually, but also your team was a big deal and a lot of pressure. Competition can be a very stressful, nerve racking, and a scary event for many riders, but being part of the St. Andrews Hunter Seat team has shown me that competing does not have to be stressful, it can be fun and positive experience.
I began my collegiate career at St. Andrews in 2015. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to try out for the IHSA and Horse Show Hunter Seat team. I put my name down for try outs and waited in anticipation for the day I could make a long-time dream come true.
Congratulations to Hannah Newman, Liz Shaffer and Taylor Fowler for a great few days competing in Aiken! The St. Andrews Horse Show Team spent the weekend in Aiken, SC at the Carolina Classic Hunter/Jumper Show. The long days were filled with wonderful team work and great riding.
The St. Andrews IHSA Western Team held on to their regional lead Saturday to win the Region and advance to Semi-Finals at Utah State, March 16-17. On Sunday Sarah Beth Felker and Annie Owen both qualified for Semi-Finals in the Open Horsemanship division. As High Point Rider for the year Gina Ulveie advances to IHSA Nationals in May to represent the region.
Overall Year End Team Placings
St. Andrews University 219
Liberty University 162
Virginia Tech 194
North Carolina State 175
Martin Community College 142
Appalachian State 42
Senior Isabelle Duckett and Sophomore Caroline Johnson shut out riders from other schools on Sunday by winning High Point and Reserve High Point Rider respectively with scores of 71.154% and 67.931%. The St. Andrews dressage team finished the day with 16 points to win the blue ribbon, beating the host school by one point.
“We had a great day,” said Coach Jackie Dwelle, “the weather was wet and cold, but the riders rode with grit and determination and demonstrated a high level of feel for their horses. I was very pleased with all of my riders.”
UNC-Chapel Hill continues to dominate IHSA Hunter Seat this spring beating the Knights by 3 points on Saturday. “All our students rode well,” said Head IHSA Coach Ashley Duda. “UNC riders have more experience than most of our team and it shows! I was very pleased with how everyone rode today. Each rider represented themselves well and I was proud of the team today.”
Following Saturday’s show UNC-Chapel Hill leads the region by 7 points.
Overall Team Points
UNC-Chapel Hill 230
St. Andrews University 223
Duke University 195
NC State University 192
East Carolina University 191
Elon University 79
“After the many hours of no stirrups over the last few semesters, I was finally able to have that moment of self-actualization and it was definitely worth it! Looking forward to another successful weekend at home.”
Said Sydney Eller who rode to victory in both Open Flat and Open Fences to earn the High Point Rider title Saturday at Cottonwood Farm, home to the East Carolina University IHSA team.
Three students, six horses and Coach Ashley Duda traveled to Raleigh Nov. 6-10 to compete at the Duke Classic Horse Show. The horses ranged from the experienced Antonio owned by the Shaffer sisters to the green Hey Cisco owned and and ridden by Ashley Duda. Continue reading “Duke Classic”