SAU sending riders to the IHSA Hunter Seat Zone Championships
Laurinburg, NC - St. Andrews University will be sending four individual riders and a team to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Hunter Seat Zone Finals in two weeks following a strong showing at the IHSA Hunter Seat Regional Competition held at the Equestrian Center on Saturday.
Kelsey Kocher, Cami Glaff, Madison Edwards and Julie Griffin each qualified as individuals for the Zone finals.
Kocher also qualified for the National Championships by earning the most points in the region, putting her in the running for the Cacchione Cup. Teammate Regina Barasch was the Reserve Champion.
“This is a great beginning for my freshman year,” said Kocher. “There has to be a first for everything; a great way to start my competitive college career. I’m looking forward to the challenge that the zone finals will bring.”
Kocher will compete in open fences and open flat at the Zones. Glaff will compete in Novice Fences and Novice Flat.
“I am excited to be going to Zones,” said Glaff. “It is bittersweet as my good friend Nikki Napoleone was third in the flat class and did not qualify for Zones.”
Edwards and Griffin will both compete in Walk, Trot, Canter at the Zone Championships.
“I experienced some disappointments this year and decided to really work hard,” said Edwards. “I have been lucky with horse draws and have had incredible support from my friends. I also want to thank our coach Matt Arrigon and Program Director Peggy McElveen for everything they have done to make this experience possible.”
Griffin also shared appreciation for the coach. “I had beautiful rides today and that is thanks to the grueling practices Coach Arrigon puts us through. It also helps that I have a lot of prior show experience. My ride was all about perfecting my position.”
The Zone competition is the final step before the National championships and is something Arrigon is working with the team to prepare for.
“We have work to do before Zones,” said Arrigon. “We are in a good place and the group woks together well as a solid team. They want to do well and are competitive. We will be competing against strong schools like Goucher, Mary Washington and Bridgewater. Only the top two teams will advance to the National Championships in May.”