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.
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 IHSA Western team led by Coaches Carla Wennberg and Cailey Culp held onto their regional lead by 12 points. The three day show was necessary to make up for show dates missed in the fall due to Hurricane Florence. Several riders qualified for IHSA Regionals over the weekend: Gina Ulveie, Annie Owen, Sarah Beth Felker, and Amanda Steskal.
St. Andrews Dressage Team started their season at Averett University’s double header this weekend. Hurricane Florence prevented the dressage team from attending the first show of the season hosted by Wake Forest in Sept. IDA rules state that the top four shows count towards qualifying for end of year award. Team points reflect 2 shows for St. Andrews and 3 for the other competing schools. There were 6 shows planned for the 18-19 competitive year, with a possibility of adding a 7th show in the spring. Either way, the dressage team will have the opportunity to catch up with its competitors.
Overall Team Standings
St. Andrews 20
Wake Forest 29
The St. Andrews IHSA Western Team rallied this weekend to take the regional lead with 93 points, 10 points ahead of second place Virginia Tech. “Appreciate ALL the teams helping the Western Team stay ahead in points and to be successful this fall season!” said Coach Carla Wennberg in an email to Equestrian Team members. Wennberg finished by saying, “It takes a village to host and perform with success! It takes great leadership.”
The shows this weekend were originally scheduled for September. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence several intercollegiate horse shows were rescheduled for later in the fall or moved to the spring.
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.”
Riding in college was something that I always dreamed of doing. I started riding when I was ten. And now, I’m living my dream of being on an intercollegiate riding team in college. In riding, I think it’s important to remember where you started. You didn’t always know how to jump a course of jumps or pull a mane, etc. Our sport has become one that is a little judgmental unfortunately. If you’re not doing the biggest and highest class, it seems as if you don’t matter. I think this assumption can get the aspiring equestrian down at times. This sport is expensive and time consuming, but the horses and the love of the sport is ultimately what it is all about. We are lucky at St. Andrews to have such wonderful horses that we get to ride so frequently.
This isn’t a sudden realization, but a slow stumble that I came across after being diagnosed with Femoroacetabular Impingement in both of my hips over Christmas break. Basically, the bones in my hip grind together when I move, walk, or ride which is what has caused the labral tear. The doctor told me that I probably should modify my activity and will eventually need surgery because the labral tear in the right hip will not heal on its own. I was glad to have an explanation for all the pain I had been experiencing. This diagnosis was pretty devastating because of how much I love to ride. To make the pain subside a little, the doctor recommended I reduce my riding to three days a week since I told him surgery was not an option until after graduation. I wanted to be able to ride during my last semester of college. Continue reading “Setbacks Only Make You Stronger”