Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Horse Show Updates

Last weekend the Western Team traveled to West Virginia to compete in the Mountaineer Invitational finishing in second place overall. “We were the only southern team to compete,” said Coach Carla Wennberg. “I am very proud to have the opportunity to compete my team against teams we don’t have the chance to compete with until spring at the Semi-Finals Competition. This tournament gave us the opportunity to see where we are midseason and what we need to improve on.” Click here for results and more information on this competition.

At home this Saturday we hosted IHSA Hunter Seat. The show was well organized by the Equestrian Program students and staff with St. Andrews earning 2nd place and maintaining the Regional lead by 18 points. ECU coached by Alumna Alie McGraw took the Championship Ribbon and UNC - Wilmington coached by Alimnus Rob Jacobs was third. A good weekend for St. Andrews overall! Click here for more news on this show.

This weekend the IHSA Hunter Seat team travels to ECU and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association team hosts is first home show of the 2014/2015 season. The dressage show begins at 10:00 a.m. with First Level Test 2 and concludes around 4:00 after four divisions of tests and 6 classes of dressage seat equitation which is new for our IDA region this year.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Dressage Team Travel



The St. Andrews Dressage Team traveled to Averett University this weekend for 2 days of showing. This year in addition to the team competition our IDA region is running a dressage seat equitation (DSE) competition with a Regional Championship planned for the last show of the season to be hosted by St. Andrews on March 21, 2015. In Dressage Seat Equitation the riders show together in a group in the dressage ring. As in all equitation classes DSE is judged on the rider’s position and effectiveness. “This is wonderful addition to IDA competition,” said Coach Jackie Dwelle. “Ginger Henderson who coaches for Averett and I are developing this competition with the hope that we will have divisions of DSE at Nationals in a couple of years. NCSU Coach Jan Jacobson who is also an “R” judge said that regular dressage competitions are adopting more DSE classes so we are staying abreast of changes within our sport.” At the conclusion of the class the judge speaks to each rider individually telling them what they need to work on to improve their position which in turn will improve the quality of their ride."

The DSE story for Saturday was Sarah Hartley’s first place in the Intro Level class. This was Sarah’s first show ever! A large number of family members were present to make this victory even more special.

Saturday’s team competition demonstrated the quality of dressage in our IDA region. Our riders rode well but were bettered by teams from Averett, NCSU and Longwood. Saturday evening was spent strategizing and watching videos of the rides. Sunday the mental preparation showed with improved placings. Claire Pollard came up with what has become our Regional motto as it is a sentiment shared by all of the coaches in the region. “We are not here to lose, we either win or we learn.” This sums up very well the lessons that intercollegiate competition offers. 


RESULTS - SATURDAY
Team A 5th

First Level Test 2
4th Bridget Newman60.811%

Training Level Test 3
4th Megan Pustarfi 61.2%
5th Claire Pollard 60.4%

Training Level Test 1
3rd Geneva Masak 64.375%

Introductory Level Test B
2nd Victoria Smith64.375%
5th Sarah Lishen 58.438%

Dressage Seat Equitation
Training Level A
4th Courtney Anderson

Training Level B
2nd Natasha Worker
4th McCall DiMarco

Introductory Level
1st Sarah Hartley
2nd Nina Jurac

SUNDAY
Team  A 3rd
Team B 4th

First Level Test 2
4th Bridget Newman 67.027%
5th Alex Varisco  64.495%

Training Level Test 3
2nd  Claire Pollard 69.4%
4th McCall DiMarco 67.0%

Training Level Test 1
3rd Geneva Masak 69.4%
6th Elizabethe Weeks 67.0%

Introductory Level Test B
2nd  Sarah Lishen 64.063%
5th Victoria Smith 62.5%

Dressage Seat Equitation
Training Level A
4th Courtney Anderson

Training Level B
4th Natasha Worker

Introductory Level A
2nd Nina Jurac

Introductory Level B
3rd Sarah Hartley

Introductory Level C
1st Sarah Lishen

NCSU RESULTS OCT. 18th
Team A 3rd 11 points
Team B 6th 10 points

First Level Test 1
4th Bridget Newman 66.034%

Training Level Test 2
1st Claire Pollard 76.429% High Point Rider
6th McCall DiMarco 71.786%

Training Level Test 1
6th Geneva Masak 61.667%

Introductory Level Test B
1st Victoria Smith 70.625%
4th Sarah Lishen 64.063%

Friday, October 24, 2014

What have we been doing?

Once again, time has flown by without a blog post. We have had horse show, riding open house, fall break and are gearing up for the next round of shows.  The Hunter Seat team placed third at our home show Oct 3rd behind NC State and Duke but rallied back at UNC Wilmington to win. The dressage team had its first outing at NCSU Oct. 18th finishing with a 3rd place overall. Senior Claire Pollard earned the high point rider ribbon with a score of 76.429% in Training Level Test 2.

While I was traveling with the dressage team, the rest of the equestrian staff worked hard to put on a wonderful riding open house for prospective high school seniors. Friday night we hosted an information session and dinner on campus. Heather led a crew to decorate the patio by the lake which looked amazing. Administrators and members of the Faculty joined us to talk about the program, answer questions and visit with families. Lots of contacts were made with future students and we all came away thinking that the future of St. Andrews looks great. On Saturday, Seniors rode for the Equestrian staff and Juniors joined the staff at the Equestrian Center for tours and information. The feedback we have received from our guests has been fabulous. Several people commented on how our current students genuinely care for the horses.


Looking forward to this weekend, teams will be doing the fall clean up of Hasty Road on Saturday, the IHSA hunter seat team heads out on Sunday for a show hosted by UNC Chapel Hill and Duke and the entire dressage team travels with Liz and I for 2 shows at Averett University, leaving at o’dark thirty tomorrow. Next week, Pebbles and Liz and two students fly to California for the Path Int. conference. At home we are excited to be hosting a clinic with Bernie Traurig next weekend. 

Claire with her High Point Ribbon

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kris Hamilton Clinic - Sept 27, 2014


Kris Hamilton was here last Saturday to work with the dressage team. 12 riders participated and several other students audited the clinic. The clinic started with a theory session from what Kris is calling “The Toolbox Series”. The balance of the horse was the focus and Kris made it easy and fun to understand by encouraging students to always start with something nice when riding and to seek the horse’s approval in all things. “Simplify” was something that she repeated over and over to encourage rider’s to not complicate their riding technique. She taught the group that balance is a product of a clear, steady rhythm. Using balance at the trot we as an example we discussed how scores of 7 – 10 were earned and how scores of 4 – 6 might be assigned. Kris’s message was one of a simple formula of energy and contact to create suppleness and therefore balance.

When we moved outside to the ring these concepts were put into practice by the riders in 3 mounted sessions at various levels. Riders experimented with their horse’s natural energy before taking up their reins and learning about “neck flip”. Riders in the first group worked on their trot and trot lengthenings to show harmony with the horse. Canter circles were taught to another group and the final group, having switched horses just for fun, ended up riding a drill team style pattern demonstrating how riding with a partner helps to motivate both horse and rider. 

Overall, the clinic was very successful for all participants and for the group of students who came out to learn from the sidelines. 


Claire and JB

Drill Team Group

Riders allowing their horses the freedom to simply walk. Kris is explaining to the auditors what is going on.

Kris showing Liv how to "flip" Frampton's neck




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ride-Like-A-Knight at Special Olympics



by RLAK Program Director Liz Dulski

This past weekend Ride-Like-Knight headed to Raleigh for the Special Olympics Equestrian Tournament. Rider Josh Dazey and Red Ted represented RLAK in 3 events which included showmanship, western riding, and western equitation.  

This year was a bit different because five other RLAK instructors came along to help work the horse show. The instructors include Hallie Myers, Claire Pollard, Sarah Lishen, Willow Goodman, and Stacy Canty. The instructors helped work the warm-up arena, ring stewards, rider check in and cheer on Josh and Coach Brooke Ellington. Josh and Red Ted had a successful weekend of showing. He took home a bronze medal in showmanship and fourth place in western equitation. Brooke said “Special Olympics gave myself and my student the opportunity to be in competition. Understanding that winning was not the most important aspect of the games.” 

After the weekend was over we asked the other instructors what they thought about the weekend. Claire Pollard said “Special Olympics gave me the opportunity to see the competition aspect of therapeutic riding and enabled me to see where I could take riders as an instructor in the future.” Claire was lucky to get to ring steward with a judge all day on Saturday. Sarah Lishen said “Over the weekend at Special Olympics I got the opportunity to make sure all riders where present for their classes. I got to meet the coaches one on one and gained knowledge as to why certain equipment was used.”  Overall it was a great weekend and learning experience for everyone involved. We will be back next year going for gold.