Alumni Spotlight: Connor Smith “A Passion for IHSA Leads to a Career”

by Beth Ann Tate

L to R: Coach Carla Wennberg, Equestrian Program Director Peggy McElveen, Connor Smith, Assistant Coach Lindsey Trokenbrot.

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.

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St. Andrews Equestrian – Not Just Competition

By Kaylynn Sherry

Senior Day at Horse Show
Senior Day for Kaylynn Sherry (“19) with friends/teammates Sam Gallo & Sydney Eller

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.

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St. Andrews Western Wins IHSA Region

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.

IHSA Regional Champions

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

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IDA Team & Riders Excel at Averett

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.

High Point & Reserve High 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.”

 

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St. Andrews Equestrian Home IHSA Show

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.

President Reagan
President Reagan

Overall Team Points

UNC-Chapel Hill                         230
St. Andrews University                223
Duke University                          195
NC State University                    192
East Carolina University              191
UNC-Charlotte                           130
UNC-Wilmington                        118
Elon University                             79

 

 

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Equestrian Team Travels to ECU/UNC Wilmington

Sydney Eller High Point Rider

“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.

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Duke Classic

Liz Shaffer, Caroline Gemmell  and Mandy Shaffer at the Duke Classic Horse Show
Liz Shaffer, Caroline Gemmell and Mandy Shaffer at the Duke Classic Horse Show

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”