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University of Minnesota, Crookston Western Equestrian Team Does Well at National Semifinals
March 26, 2009

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

2008-2009 Western Equestrian Team

2008-2009 Western Equestrian Team

(Crookston, Minn.)- The University of Minnesota, Crookston Western Equestrian team finished the season in sixth place overall at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Semifinal Competition hosted by the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.


In the team competition, Amanda Peterson (Jr, Rochester, Minn.) finished fourth in Open Horsemanship and fifth in Reining. In the Advanced, Kayla Klein (So, Hazen, N.D.) came in seventh place, while Kaitlyn Tollefsrud (Fr, Hawley, Minn.) came in fifth in the Novice.  Wrapping up the Intermediate was Melissa Zanotelli (Fr, Marshfield, Wis.) with a fourth place finish. Anna Steen (Fr, Hanover, Minn.) took fifth place in the Beginner. 


“I was pleased with how our team competed against the bigger programs,” says Golden Eagle Western Coach Nicky Overgaard. “Getting to that level and seeing the competition there was a little unnerving to some of our riders. I think that with a big show like this, our riders will be better prepared for what they can accomplish next season and hopefully make it to that level of competition in the finals next year.”

The University of Findlay won the team competition with the University of West Virginia coming in second place followed by the University of California - Pamona in third place.


Mary Hurley (So, Grand Meadow, Minn.) had an excellent ride in the Advanced Horsemanship, making the first cut, and came out in sixth place overall in a high quality class.  Lastly, Tollefsrud was able to make the cut in the Intermediate Horsemanship and finished in fifth place overall. 


“I was very happy with how Hurley and Tollefsrud rode their patterns and made their cuts,” says Coach Overgaard.  “This was a highly competitive horse show and we were very competitive. This has been a great confidence booster to our girls as well as much needed insight into that next level of competition.”


Coach Overgaard continued to laud the experience that Amanda Peterson gained. “This was a great place for Amanda (Peterson) to gain some valuable experience in the two Open classes. It gives her a look at who her competition will be at the national competition in Tennessee in April.  I think she will be very competitive at that level and am looking forward to the National Horse Show.”


Amanda Peterson will take part in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Championships in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on April 23-26.


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). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).