Monday, April 14, 2014

IDA National Championships 2014

I had the pleasure of travelling to Chatham, VA this weekend with five horses that we loaned to Averett University for IDA Nationals, which was hosted at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Center. We narrowly missed qualifying two of our riders and were beaten out of the wild card slot by higher scoring regions so were supporting Averett and IDA with our horses and students. 

Astaire, Alibaba, Jake, JB and Scot loaded up early Thursday morning with Abi, Claire, Megan, and Bridget to make the three hour drive. Lindsey and Elizabethe left a little later to do a circular tour to pick up one horse in Southern Pines and one in Raleigh. Thursday afternoon was dedicated to schooling and Friday was the horse selection. Our settled right into the horse show routine. Lindsey took charge of the barn routine and braiding while I took care of my duties as IDA Secretary/Treasurer. The five students worked together very well, sharing all the duties and assisting one another with stalls, hand grazing and grooming. 

By Saturday morning Astaire and Scot had been excused from the show. With almost 40 horses there were many that traveled and did not compete. This strategy paid off very well on Sunday for the team competition with so many to choose from to make the horse groups as fair as possible. 

Saturday the remaining three were braided and groomed beautifully for individual day. The horses were paraded by level prior to their division. The SAU team had JB and Alibaba  gleaming for upper training and Jake looked fabulous for the lower training division. On Sunday JB dropped down to lower training to help even out the horse groups. 

Averett put on a wonderful National competition with a rodeo theme, including cowboy boot center pieces at the Friday dinner and boot shaped name tags for the horses. Congratulations to Virginia Intermont on claiming the team championship for 2014. 

I was very happy with our horses and students all weekend. Everyone worked hard to support one another in what can be a tiring and thankless task – the life of a groom is not an easy one. The horses received excellent care and our team looked great all weekend in their SAU blue shirts. 

For me it was a wonderful opportunity to see my friends from the IDA Board and coaches from all over the country including California, New England, Louisiana and the Midwest as well as those that are closer. The competition is what brings us together each year, but it is the connection I have with like-minded people that makes this annual competition so enjoyable. Having the show in our region this year and taking horses was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Next year Otterbein University takes on the challenge of hosting at their brand new facility.
Bridget and Alibaba

Jake with Abi and JB with Claire

Megan and Astaire

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Hunter Seat Team Joins the Western Team Moving onto IHSA Nationals

Congratulations to both our IHSA teams for qualifying for the National Championships, May 1 – 4 in Harrisburg, PA. The hunter seat team traveled to Hollins University this past weekend to compete in their Zone Championships riding against some of the strongest schools in the country to earn their ride to the National Championships. Congratulations also to Madison Edwards and Kelsey Kocher for qualifying as Individuals in Walk-Trot-Canter and Open Fences respectively.

Coaches Wennberg and Arrigon will be working their riders hard in the next few weeks to prepare for the National Championships. Overall fitness as well as time in the saddle will be part of the preparation.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Western Semi Finals - the Rest of the Story

Congratulations to the IHSA Western Team Zone Champions! Hard work and focus pays off! Below are the complete results from the weekend.

Putting on a horse show is a huge undertaking. Students are involved in every aspect to make it happen. Team members and therapeutic horsemanship students served as horse holders for the day. Rachel Samuel recruited several of her friends to help her with her event management internship. This crew worked tirelessly to organize all the behind the scenes activities. Including preparing bags of goodies for the competitors, overseeing thank you notes from award winners, setting tables for the Pig Pickin’, taking down tents on Sunday when the wind threatened to send them flying and being available to answer questions from visitors regarding any aspect of the show. Jake Hobson volunteered to be the DJ at the Pig Pickin’ keeping the tunes rolling until the last guest left. Other students worked to prepare art work to decorate the party palace for the Saturday night party.

Cami Glaff led a team of well-dressed students who worked as the prize presenters for each awards ceremony, escorting the winners to the awards tent to collect their prizes and write thank you notes. Dr. Kellam and students traveling to South Africa this summer sold gourmet coffee, popcorn and baked goods which helped keep everyone warm and served as a pick me up when energy ran low. They also ran an auction of donated items to help raise money for their trip offering bargains and another fun activity to the weekend. (This blogger purchased a very nice leaf blower at a great price after a bidding contest with another bidder.) I suspect I am missing some jobs covered by students and once again I apologize for the unintentional omission.

Parents also play a huge role in these horse shows. First, we have to thank Holly Hayden for spending her weekend with us as head scorer, crunching scores from two judges to determine the winner. Lots of parents were in attendance to support their children. We love to have them with us. Carla said, “This weekend, I got to know some parents that I had not previously spent much time with, I loved that part of the show.” Mrs Schmieding mother of Ali Clynes, arrived early Sunday with breakfast biscuits for everyone and then set up an amazing lunch table with South Carolina barbeque for the entire St. Andrews crew to munch on.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Equestrian Program this weekend. The show was a great example of southern hospitality and team work and a huge congratulations to all the riders and coaches Wennberg and Agaliotis!

Zone Champions
St. Andrews University

Reserve Champions
Clemson University

Individual Nationals Qualifiers
Intermediate Horsemanship Finals
3rd Erin Hudson

Beginning Horsemanship
2nd Vicki Wiese

Open Horsemanship
1st Michelle Hustad

Team Results
Team Reining
5th Michelle Hustad (7th in Individual Division)

Team Advanced Horsemanship
1st Mark Mowbray

Team Intermediate Horsemanship
2nd Dugan McDermott

Team Beginner Horsemanship
2nd Austin Trockenbrot

Team Novice Horsemanship
1st Logan Teeter

Team Open Horsemanship
1st Michelle Hustad