The Minnesota, Crookston western equestrian team finished the regular season Saturday with a home show at the University Teaching and Outreach Center in Crookston, before hosting the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Regionals Sunday at UTOC. The Golden Eagles ended the weekend with two riders qualifying for the National IHSA Semifinals.
The Golden Eagles had exceptionally strong performances from their Open Reining riders Saturday. Amanda Krueger (Sr., Aberdeen, S.D.) started the day by winning the Open Reining division and finishing the day as the Reserve High Point rider. The second reining class was again won by a UMC athlete as Kaytlin Weiger (Sr., Duluth, Minn.) won her class with Yahnza Zastrow (Sr., Easton, Minn.) placing second.
In the Advanced Division, Karen Carpenedo (Sr., Bessemer, Mich.) came out with a great ride and took home a second-place ribbon while Mitzi Marlin (Jr., Nowthen, Minn.) took fourth and Jenna Podnar (Jr., Luxenburg, Wis.) fifth.
UMC’s largest contingent of competitors was in the Novice class and the Golden Eagles came away with big wins from Caitlin Kelley (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Chloe Nelson (Fr., Little Falls, Minn.). Amy Stadtherr (Fr., New Ulm, Minn.) scored a third-place ride. Alissa Hernandez (Jr., Savage, Minn.) took fourth place while Amanda Guimont (Fr., Nowthen, Minn.) took a fifth-place ribbon and Shannon Salm (So., Larsen, Wis.) finished up with a nice ride that wasn’t well rewarded, finishing with a sixth-place nod.
The Regional Finals Sunday started out with an exciting win in the Reining competition as Weiger made an almost flawless ride and came away victorious. The other big win of the day came from Kelley in the Novice Division as she displayed excellent pattern work and was deserving of the win. Both riders will move on to compete at the IHSA Semi Finals. There are three Semifinals throughout the country and the Golden Eagles have been seeded to partake in the regional at Moorhead, Ky., March 26 and 27.
UMC’s other riders put together some strong final performances of the season at the IHSA Regionals but will not be advancing to the Semifinals. Kruger ended up fourth overall in the Advanced Division. Marlin took away a fourth-place ribbon in the Novice Division.
UMC’s Intermediate riders all made the final call backs and unfortunately were not in the top two places. However, out of the 20 riders that competed, Weiger took third place, Hernandez ended up fourth and Salm finished with a fifth-place ribbon.
The next step in qualifiying for the IHSA National Horse Show in May is to place in the top four at the National Western Semifinals Competition.