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.
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”
IHSA Western and Hunter Seat Equestrian Teams both competed last weekend. Both teams elected to show their less experienced riders. Coach Duda reflected, “We will keep working to get better, especially on the flat. Took a greener team this week and it showed.” Coach Wennberg agreed saying, “Great team in the making, we will work harder and not weaken.”
Individual riders triumphed including Sydney Eller and Taylor Fowler who qualified for Regionals in Intermediate Flat and Novice Fences respectively. Gina Ulveie earned the Reserve High Point Rider title for the Western team. Sydney reflected on the weekend saying, “Our team, along with their amazing parents, were all very supportive. We all plan to rally and work very hard to come back stronger on November 11th!”
Hurricane Florence delayed the start of the intercollegiate competitive season, leading to a late start for both IHSA teams and causing the IDA team to miss riding at the first show of their season hosted by Wake Forest University.
The late start may have motivated the Knights to work harder and smarter in the limited time left to prepare for the first hunter seat show. 6:00 a.m. workouts combined with daily mounted practices led to a tie for the championship ribbon with Duke University at UNC – Chapel Hill on Oct. 21st.
Coach Ashley Duda said, “St Andrews usually has the luxury of opening their season at home. This year, we started our season away and the riders did an excellent job handling the change and unfamiliar horses. We had strong rides throughout the day, bringing home 8 individual class wins. We are trying to stay consistent and clean up a few mistakes from last weekend as we head to compete at NC State tomorrow.”