Nick Vernon, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
Berry’s equestrian team hosted the Intercollegiate Fall Classic western and hunt seat shows on Nov. 1 and 2 at the Gunby Equine Center.
The team won all three shows, including two hunt seat shows and one western, against schools such as the University of Georgia (UGA), Georgia Tech and the University of Alabama.
After coming up short to the University of Alabama at their last show hosted by UGA, the equestrian team was hoping to bounce back to their winning ways this past weekend.
The Vikings did just that, winning outright as the team with the most total points in all three shows.
|Photos contributed by Lauren Neumann
Sophomore Lauren Thompson (above) and senior Ali Jones (below) compete at the
Intercollegiate Fall Classic at the Gunby Equine Center last weekend.
Senior Autumn Clarke placed first in open fences in the first hunt seat show, and first in open equitation in the second. She talked about how the team was able to bounce back from their result at UGA.
“We have definitely stepped up practice these last few weeks,” Clarke said. “Normally, when we go to a competition we cream the competition, and we didn’t do that at the UGA show. Alabama did really well. They have proven to be a very strong competitor this year.”
Senior Jessica Tabb placed third in intermediate equitation on day one and first on day two.
Tabb said the entire team worked very hard at the shows this past weekend.
“Everybody was more confident coming in and we had a little more drive this show because we are not used to coming in second,” Tabb said. “The western and hunt seat teams both pulled off really good shows.”
Margaret Knight, the head coach of the equestrian team, said the performance was a complete team effort.
“Majority of the riders did very well,” Knight said. “We were able to win all three events based on consistency.”
Clarke explained how Knight was able to get the team back on track after their last show.
“After the UGA show did not go as well as we had planned, Coach really cracked down on us and turned practice up several notches,” she said.
Clarke says the team is “not going to slow down” this season as they hope to carry their success into the spring semester.
Likewise, Knight said she expects her riders to continue to strive and improve.
“I expect to have regional championships in both hunt seat and western,” Knight said. “Post-season we hope to reach the semi-finals for western, as well as the zones (semi-finals) for the hunt seat.”
Additionally, she says they hope to qualify at least one team and multiple individuals for the Intercollegiate National Horse Show.
The western team will host two shows at Gunby on Nov. 22. The entire team starts back up with shows in early February.