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SAPC team has ANRC adventure

Eight riders, nine horses, one chef d’equip, three coaches, one veterinarian, numerous parents and one surprise visitor made the trip to Savannah College of Art and Design to compete in the American National Riding Commission (ANRC) National Intercollegiate Equitation Championships April 13 – 17.

The St. Andrews Novice team of Jennifer Callahan, Alie McGraw and Alexandra Fullerton placed fourth overall. The National team of Rob Jacobs, Kim Graves and Katie Hansen finished sixth. Also competing were nationals individual riders Audrey Hayden and Audrey Bolte.

Karen Gruninger served as chef d’equip, with coaches Ashley Duda, Peggy McElveen and Lindsey Crowther supporting the effort. Veterinarian Laura Kellam also made the trip.

This is the first year that ANRC has offered two divisions. The Novice division competes at 2’6” and the National division at 3’. All competitors were allotted schooling time for the three phases giving the riders and coaches the opportunity to plan their strategies for each of the three ridden phases.

The competition starts with a theory test. Callahan won this phase in the Novice Division with a score of 96%. In the National division Hayden scored 97.1% to earn third place and Jacobs placed 7th with a score of 93.1%.

The dressage sportif phase is ridden in a large arena with dressage letters, a trot fence and a canter fence. Graves, riding her own horse for the National team, had an absolutely stunning ride which would have probably been in the top placings in the division had she not made a walk transition in the wrong place in the ring and lost her counter canter lead. For the Novice division Fullerton had a challenging ride on Glenn “who was in the grumpiest mood I have ever seen,” said McElveen. “Alexandra had to be conservative and tactful so as not to make him angry.”

The hunter trials equitation phase started early Sunday morning followed by the hunter seat equitation medal course in the afternoon. Graves earned the highest St. Andrews score in the hunter trials equitation putting her in the top five for that phase; she also earned a top ten placing in the medal phase.

Long time friend of the St. Andrews equestrian program and frequent clinician for hunter seat riders Scot Evans made a surprise visit to the competition.

“I was talking to Scot on the phone Friday and asking about his plans for the weekend,” said McElveen. “He said, I thought I’d spend the weekend in Savannah! What a wonderful surprise! He was so helpful with the riders. Rob Jacobs has ridden with Scot for four years and Katie, Kim, Audrey and Jenn the last two years. Scot was able to give Coach Duda some great advice and gave all our competitors a great pep talk.”

McElveen received the United States Hunger Jumper Association Affiliate ANRC Instructor of the Year Award. This award recognizes an outstanding riding instructor who is dedicated to teaching the Forward Riding System, a dedicated teacher who has spent time “in the ring” encouraging love and growth of forward riding to entry level riders, primarily at unrecognized competition level.

Individual placements for the event were delayed by an error in the scoring software program.

“Even with this challenge, it did not diminish a wonderful experience,” said McElveen.

Click here for the St. Andrews complete competition results.

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 info@sapc.edu.


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A branch of Webber International University
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