MTSU Equestrian Team News

By Andrea R. Rego

After a very successful regular IHSA show season, the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Equestrian Team is sending four members of the western team to the 2019 IHSA National Championships, May 2-5, 2019 in Syracuse, New York.

The team had six riders qualify for IHSA Semi-Finals in Ocala, Florida on March 15-17. These riders had to place in the top two of the tough reining and horsemanship classes at the Zone 5 Region 1 IHSA Championship Show, held at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, TN in mid-February. Representing MTSU at Semi-Finals were Jenna Seal in the Individual Open Reining, MC Wade in the Individual Open Reining and Horsemanship, Kaylee Hayes and Sarah Kozuszek both in the Individual Beginner Horsemanship, Kailey Vande Kamp in the Individual Intermediate Horsemanship, and Trevor Higgins in the Alumni Reining.

On Saturday, the first rider for MTSU was Mary Catherine Wade in the Individual Open Horsemanship, where she made the finals on her draw Nick, and placed 8th out of 16 riders in the finals on Lady. Later in the day, Sarah Kozuszek made the Individual Beginner Horsemanship finals from the first split on Kiwi, followed by Kailey Vande Kamp, also making finals in the first split of Individual Intermediate Horsemanship. Following the first splits of the Beginner and Intermediate, Kaylee Hayes showed in the second split of the Beginner Horsemanship, riding Johnny, also joining Sarah in the finals.

In a tough class of sixteen Beginner Horsemanship riders, both Kaylee and Sarah put in great rides, with Kaylee winning Reserve Champion and Sarah placing 7th.

After the Beginner Finals, Kailey Vande Kamp showed in the Individual Intermediate finals, drawing the Palomino gelding Fortune Of Jules. Kailey rode an excellent pattern, and was rewarded with a Reserve Champion ribbon for her performance.

The final class of the day was Alumni Reining, where Trevor Higgins put in an excellent ride and placed 6th.

On Sunday the Open Individual Reining was split into three sections, with Mary Catherine Wade drawing Chrome in section B, and Jenna Seal drawing MTSU’s Gracey in section C. MC and Jenna both rode largely penalty free patterns, and were rewarded with the Reserve Champion and 3rd place ribbons, respectively, and spots for IHSA Nationals in the Individual Reining. They also scored 144.5 and a 144, respectively.

In addition to the western team competing at Semi-Finals, the MTSU Hunt Seat Team sent one rider, Jessica Schriver, to the 2019 IHSA Zones show at Auburn University on March 30 in the Walk Trot Canter class.

The MTSU Equestrian Team members thank their coaches, Ariel Herrin and Andrea Rego, for such a great show season, and are looking forward to Nationals! We wish them good luck in Syracuse this May!

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