Multiple SAPC Equestrian teams successful at weekend events
Laurinburg, N.C. – The St. Andrews Presbyterian College Equestrian program had a busy and successful weekend with two competition teams and a special internal competition group showing.
“The win secured the Knights as the 2011 IHSA Hunter Seat Zone 4, Region 3 Champions, a first in the program’s history,” said Coach Ashley Duda. “St. Andrews riders worked tirelessly to ensure the championship. The team competed at seven regular season competitions this season. The team won four of those competitions and finished second in three. The team will continue to work hard as they prepare for Zone competition in hopes of qualifying for IHSA Nationals.”
Picking up wins for the team at Sunday’s competition were Audrey Bolte, Kali Cram, Rob Jacobs, Kayla McBath, Katie Mentzel, and Miranda Wright. Bolte rode very strongly today and won both her intermediate over fences class and open flat class. She earned the most points of any rider at the competition and was awarded the high point rider award. Several riders also qualified for individual regional competition. Additionally, Cram’s win qualified her for Regionals in Novice Fences.
“The Knights faced tough competition when they competed against seven other schools including the two host schools, Coastal Carolina University and the University of North Carolina – Wilmington,” Duda said. “Despite not having a home team advantage, the Knights turned in strong ride after strong ride on their way to earning 40 points throughout the day.”
Jacobs also had a banner day as he climbed his way to the top of the Cacchione leaderboard. Each year, the open level rider who has accumulated the most points in their fences and flat classes throughout the competition season, qualifies to compete in the Cacchione Cup at the National competition.
“Rob is the first St. Andrews rider to earn this title since the early 2000’s.,” said Duda. “Earning a spot to compete in the Cacchione Cup is a huge accomplishment. Many riders vie for the title each year but it takes consistency and solid riding to win. Rob has exhibited this consistency and good horsemanship throughout the season.”
Throughout the year, several St. Andrews riders have qualified as individuals for regional finals competition. Listed below are the St. Andrews riders who have qualified:
The hunter seat regional champs will have a month off of competition to train for the zone championships held in early April at St. Andrews.
IHSA Western at Virginia Tech
The St. Andrews Western Team placed third at both weekend competitions hosted by Virginia Tech.
North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech took first and second place respectively both days, leaving State in first place for the season just ahead of St. Andrews.
In Saturday’s competition, Tyler Gritzuk earned first place in Walk/Jog while Alex Myers earned first in Novice and Leah Davison earned first in Intermediate.
Second place finishes were turned in by Jake Nix in Intermediate, Blake Liljestrand in Walk/Jog and Lindsey Agaliotis in Advanced. Anne Neal Thompson earned third in Advanced while Kelsey Moody was third in Open Horsemanship and Reining.
Kimmy Simonsen earned fifth place in Novice.
Sunday’s competition saw similar strong performances. Liljestrand and Gritzuk both earned top honors in Walk/Jog. Simonsen added a second place finish in Novice to her weekend awards. Moody added a second place in Open Horsemanship and an third in Reining.
Third place finishes were contributed by Myers in Novice, Agaliotis in Advanced, and Thompson in Advanced. Nix added fifth in Intermediate.
Showing Under the Stars
Friday night provided an opportunity for students who do not regularly compete to show their skills against others who were utilizing the night as a warm-up for the weekend’s team competitions.
“Overall it was an amazing night full of fun, great riding and some hard competition,” said coordinator Heather Wile.“With more than 60 students competing and seven trailering in their own horses from local barns, the barn was a busy place to be!”
The evening began with a great reining demonstration from Kelsey Moody and then went on to the Western Horsemanship classes.
“The western team was using this event to get ready to go to Virginia Tech to compete in the IHSA Show this weekend,” said Wile. “They had some great rides and looked ready to go represent St. Andrews! "
Three members of the Dressage team showed up to compete in the Dressage Equitation class in which Brianna Carter took away the blue ribbon riding her own horse.
“As the sun began to set our Open Riders started off the Hunter Seat competition with a very challenging course and some spunky horses,” said Wile.
Kali Cram ended up the blue ribbon winner with great flat work and a well thought out ride over jumps.
The Intermediate class saw a large number of riders on their own horses. The Dressage Team was well represented by Donna Fowble and Brianna Carter who had great rides over fences placing 6th and 4th but it was Jenn Callahan who rode away with the blue ribbon who will also be representing St. Andrews at the ANRC championships in April in the 2'6" division. Novice Over Fences kicked off with again some great flat work and great equitation.
Blake Liljestrand who rides walk/trot for the IHSA Hunter Seat and Western teams took first place followed by Amanda Massengale in second and Caitlin Karolak in third.
Next came the Walk/Trot Beginning Canter riders. Rachel Samuel had a great ride in her first Showing Under the Stars and so did Danielle Martin on her on horse. The blue ribbon ride belonged to Hillary Todd on her own horse followed by Alex King.
The Hunter Seat divisions came to a close with our three sections of Advanced Walk/Trot/Canter. Miranda Wright, Stephanie Whitlock and Ellen Tobin all walked away with a blue ribbon followed in second by Angela Gaskins, Amanda Liguori, and Sarah Jones.
“The Ride-A-Buck class was a great way to end the night with some great riding and lots of laughs,” said Wile. “Brittany Powell held her buck the longest and walked away with the winnings. Some honorable mentions belong to Tricia James, Leah Davison, Jenna Rash, Jenn Callahan, and Natalie Norwood who was representing the SAPC Equestrian Staff!”
About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.