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University of Minnesota, Crookston Hunt Seat Equestrian Team Keeps Rolling with Successful Home Show
October 27, 2008

Contact: Chris Vito - Assistant Sports Information Director - (218)281-8445

It was a record breaking weekend for the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Golden Eagles took High Point Team in both Saturday and Sunday’s competitions. The U of M, Crookston riders also took the top two spots each day individually.


“I was extremely proud of how well the entire team rode,” says U of M, Crookston Hunt Seat Equestrian Coach Brooke Leininger. “They proved that they are a team to contend with this weekend.” 


Saturday’s competition started off with a big win from Tandra Klein (So, Hazen N.D.) in Intermediate Jumping. She then went on to take second place in the Novice Flat. This put her in a tie for High Point Rider. Heather Fogelson (Fr, Grant, Minn.)  took second place in the Novice jumping and first place in her Intermediate Flat section to tie with Tandra Klein for High Point Rider. “I was extremely proud of how well Tandra and Heather rode and their consistency on the flat and then over fences,” says Coach Leininger. “They are two talented athletes that work hard and give it their best each and every time.” Klein came back on Sunday and had two great rides, taking second place in the Intermediate Jumping followed by second place in the Novice Flat.


Sunday’s competition started off with a bang when Open rider Laura Critchett (So, Shoreview, Minn.) took first place in the Open Jumping and second place in the Open Flat. This gave her the title of High Point Rider for the Sunday competition. It was Critchett’s best finish so far and came against some tough competition.


Jessica Biddle (Sr, Elburn, Ill.) took third place in the Open Jumping on Saturday. She came back on Sunday to take third place in the Open Jumping and third place in the Intermediate Flat proving that she is a consistent top placer.


Nicole Veres (Jr, Random Lake, Wis.) had a winning ride to take first place in her Novice Jumping rounds both on Saturday and Sunday. This gave her enough points to qualify for the Regional Championships in February.


Kelsey Sherman (Fr, Lansing Mich.) won her Novice Jumping round and then went on to take third place in the Novice Flat on Saturday. She came back with a strong ride to claim the second place spot in Sunday’s Novice Jumping. “She is a very talented, natural rider and I expect to see her qualify for the Regional Championships,” says Coach Leininger.


Riding for the first time for U of M, Crookston, Lauren Snively (Fr, Herndon, Vir.) won her Novice Flat section on Saturday. She returned Sunday to take third place in Novice Jumping and first place in the Novice Flat. This tied her for the Reserve High Point Rider for Sunday’s competition. “She is another exciting new addition to the team and I plan see her develop in to a consistent rider and an athlete over the next few years,” says Coach Leininger.


Jenae Hanson (Sr, Andover, Minn.) had a tough draw on Advanced Walk Trot Canter but proved that she was a solid competitor by taking first place in her section Saturday and third place on Sunday. She qualified for the Regional Championships in Walk Trot Canter this weekend with her wins.


Also competing for U of M, Crookston for the first time, Melissa Zanotelli (Fr, Marshfield, Minn.) took second place in her Advanced Walk Trot Canter section on Saturday followed by a third place finish on Sunday.


Megan Claybundy (So, International Falls, Minn.), competing for the first time in Advanced Walk Trot Canter, took third place on Sunday.


Brittney Skoien (Jr, Wanaska, Minn.) moved in to the Advanced Walk Trot Canter division on Sunday and won her class.


Lydia Lestingi (Fr, Clemons, N.Y.), competed for her first time at U of M,Crookston and took a second place in Walk Trot on both Saturday and Sunday. She had two impressive rides.


The team finished Saturday as the High Point Team overall as well as claiming the titles of High Point Rider (Heather Fogelson) and Reserve High Point Rider (Tandra Klein). Sunday ended with the team taking another High Point Team title as well as the High Point Rider (Laura Critchett) and tying for the Reserve High Point Rider (Lauren Snively). The team gained enough points to overcome UW-Madison, the top ranked team in the region. They also took over as the new point leader.


“We are coming off of a two huge wins this weekend and I hope that we can keep the momentum going by repeating the success at our next competition at SDSU in two weeks,” says Coach Leininger.


The Golden Eagle Hunt Seat Equestrian team will return to action on Saturday, November 15 when they travel to South Dakota State University. The show begins at 9 a.m.


For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics Web site at


The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a NCAA Division II Institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Golden Eagle Hockey is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).


Photo Caption: Image 1410 – Tandra Klein on her way to a second place finish in Intermediate Jumping on Sunday.