Equestrian teams finish season with regular wins

Matt Smith, Campus Carrier Assistant Sports Editor

The Vikings equestrian team competed in their last regular season show for the 2013-2014 season on Saturday and Sunday.

The Vikings hunt seat team competed on Saturday, finishing in first place with a score of 34 points. The western team also finished in first place in their events with a score of 31.

                                                                                                                 Caroline Lee
Senior western rider Katie McSpadden prepares for the advanced horsemanship event.
 McSpadden placed third in the event.  Both the western and hunt seat teams finished
first at their final shows of the season.  

 For the hunt seat team, junior Autumn Clarke finished in third place in the open equitation event. Sophomore Ivey Herrington came in first place in the intermediate equitation event, with junior Jessica Tabb finishing third and junior Arden Foster finishing fourth. 

Freshmen Lydia West tied with sophomore Sara Claudia Tillman for first place in the novice equitation event.

The western team also scored high in their events the following day. In the open reining event, freshmen Elizabeth Poczubut came in first place, followed by senior Andrea Smith in second place and sophomore Gabrielle Buono in third place. In open horsemanship, Smith came in first, Poczubut came in second, and Buono came in third. For advanced horsemanship, senior Cecelia Shields-Auble came in first, freshmen Elizabeth Ellis came in second and senior Katie McSpadden finished third.

In the novice horsemanship event, senior Samantha Brown came in first and senior Natalie Vert finished second. For intermediate horsemanship, senior Samantha Fowler  and Junior Ashlee Melhado tied for first, and freshman Frannie Wilson, in her collegiate debut, came in second. Fowler and Melhado qualified for regionals with their scores.

Senior captain Andrea Smith said she was very pleased with the team’s performance and complimented the freshmen on their contributions to the team throughout the season.

 “We had a lot of freshman riders join our team this season, which some teams consider negative,” Smith said. “Our freshmen have made our team so much stronger. I’m confident that they will do great things after I graduate.”

Melhado said she was proud of  the team for their hard work and dedication throughout the season.

“All the girls work so hard,” Melhado said. “We have to set up the ring, clean all of the horses, run the horses, and compete at the same time. This really is a great team that is like a second family to me.”

The Vikings will compete in the semifinals next month. Sophomore Gabrielle Buono says the team will continue to practice hard until the competition.

“We are going to continue to ride as much as possible,” Buono said. “We will try to get on as many different horses as we can. Many of us are going to also ride with outside trainers as well as continuing to work with our coaches.” 

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