(Crookston, Minn.)- The University of Minnesota, Crookston Equestrian teams have both closed out successful regular seasons and head to the Regional Competition hosted by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1 in River Falls, Wis. Events will get underway for the Western team at 1 p.m. on Saturday and for the Hunt Seat team at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Coach Brooke Leininger’s Hunt Seat team is fresh off a solid performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last weekend. “The regional qualifiers are coming off one of the best weekends of the season with big success at UW-Madison,” says Coach Leininger. “They are all very competitive in their respective divisions and I expect to see a few of them continue on to the Zone Championships.”
The top two riders in each division will go on to compete at Purdue University for the Zone Championship on March 29. The winners at Zones will continue on to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships in Murfreesboro, Tenn. from April 23-26.
The Hunt Seat team’s riders who have qualified to compete in the championship this weekend at UW River Falls are:
Jenae Hanson (Sr, Andover, Minn.): Walk Trot Canter
Lindy Hausauer (Sr, Moorhead, Minn.): Walk Trot Canter
Brittney Skoien (Jr, Wannaska, Minn.): Walk Trot Canter
Megan Claybundy (So, International Falls, Minn.): Walk Trot Canter
Kelsey Sherman (Fr, Lansing, Mich.): Double Qualifier - Novice Jumping and Novice Flat
Nicole Veres (Jr, Random Lake, Wis.): Double Qualifier - Novice Jumping and Novice Flat
Heather Fogelson (Fr, Grant, Minn.): Intermediate Flat
Lauren Snively (Fr, Herndon, Vir.): Novice Flat
Tandra Klein (So, Hazen, N.D.): Novice Flat
Coach Nicky Overgaard and her Western team received some exciting news on Monday. The official announcement has been made from the Zone Nine, Region Three President that the University of Minnesota, Crookston is the Western High Point Regional Team. The Golden Eagles tied with North Dakota State University and won on the tie-breaker in their top five overall show totals. The High Point Regional team advances to the Western National Semi-Finals in Findlay, Ohio on March 21-22. They will compete against the top eight regional teams from the Eastern and Midwest IHSA regions. The top four teams from the semifinals will advance to the IHSA Nationals in Murfreesboro, Tenn. from April 23-26. Team riders from each division will compete with riders in that same division in team designated classes.
The team members chosen to represent U of M, Crookston are Amanda Peterson (Jr, Rochester, Minn.) in Reining and Open Horsemanship, Kayla Klein (So, Hazen, N.D.) in Advanced Horsemanship, Kaitlyn Tollefsrud (Fr, Hawley, Minn.) in Novice Horsemanship, Melissa Zanotelli (Fr, Marshfield, Wis.) in Intermediate and Anna Steen (Fr, Hanover, Minn.) in the Walk/Trot Horsemanship.
The Western Regional Show for the individual riders takes place on Saturday, February 28 at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in River Falls, Wis. Individual riders qualify throughout the year and have to attain a certain number of points to qualify in their divisions. The top two riders from the Regional Show advance to the semifinals and compete against the individuals in their respective divisions. The top four individuals also advance to the IHSA Nationals from the semifinals. U of M, Crookston riders qualified include Amanda Peterson, Mary Hurley (So, Grand Meadow, Minn.), Sarah Nowacki (Jr, Stephen, Minn.), Kayla Klein, Mindy Nieuwboer (So, Kenneth, Minn.), Becky Rhodus (So, Kansas City, Missouri), Kaitlyn Tollefsrud, Lindy Hausauer (Sr, Moorhead, Minn.), and Amanda Gozel (Fr, Shoreview, Minn.).
“It has been several years since we have qualified a team to move on to the semifinals and it was a great year to get many individual riders qualified for the Regional Show,” says Coach Overgaard. “We have been getting in some additional practice times and hope to qualify several individual riders for the semifinals competition. It will come down to how well they can execute their pattern at the Regional Competition.”
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics Web site at http://www.goldeneaglesports.com/.
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).