The University of Findlay (OH) hosted dressage teams from the region on Saturday, November 5 in a competition that saw the Britons finish fourth, their score boosted by the performances of sophomore team captain Jessi Fore (Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee) and her classmate Shannon Ervin (Ortonville/Brandon).
Fore led off for the Britons at First Level and came away with a third place finish; Ervin then followed suit and finished third at Lower Training Level. First-year rider Madelin Darby (Alto/Caledonia) finished fifth in her First Level ride and sophomore McKenzie Bush (St. Clair/Marysville) was allowed a wild card spot to compete as an individual during the meet at Upper Training level.
“We were all assigned to very different horses and it was both fun and educational to watch each rider solve a different type of problem,” team captain Fore commented at the end of the weekend.
Briton dressage has a respite from competition until second semester when they’ll head to a double-header hosted by Lake Erie College (OH) February 18 and 19.
With her win at Lower Training level during the first day of the Michigan State University double-header hosted at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center, sophomore Shannon Ervin (Ortonville/Brandon) led the Briton team to a third place finish.
Leading off the team’s rides for the day was Ervin’s classmate Jessi Fore (Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee), who earned third place in her First Level test.
Coach Danielle Menteer said of her team, “There were improvements in the ability of the riders to adopt to their assigned horses and carry that from the warm-up into the show ring.”
The Briton dressage team will take a few weeks off between meets before they travel to the University of Findlay (OH) to compete on November 5.
The final weekend of competition for the Briton dressage team was a double header show hosted by Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, on February 20 and 21. Though there was only room for six of the eight riders to compete over the weekend, Albion was still able to rack up enough points to finish in third place both days and end the season as the third place team in the region.
First year Skye Campbell (Grand Rapids / Caledonia) won second place in her Introductory level class with an impressive 65.9 percent test. Campbell was named regional reserve champion at Intro level, which also makes her eligible for a wild card spot at IDA Nationals, though these spots cannot be officially filled until later when all the regions complete their regular season shows.
Albion riders were also able to compete for the first time in the dressage seat equitation classes, which is a new offering for the Intercollegiate Dressage Association. The first year students reigned supreme again, with Kendra Gembala (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) winning second in First/Upper, and Bria Flanagan (Harrisburg, S.D. / Lincoln) with second in Lower.
Though a handful of the Briton riders fought a stomach bug over the course of the weekend, they still pulled it together for a successful show. Coach Danielle Menteer had this to say about the weekend: “Everyone worked really hard and was in high spirits. We also really appreciated the efficient, well managed, snafu-free show that LEC put on. It made the weekend quite enjoyable.”
Senior and team co-captain Emma Stapley (Rockford / Rockford) gave herself a birthday present by winning the high score at the February 13 show hosted by the University of Findlay.
The impressive 71.92 percent came after a tumultuous start to Stapley's test. It turned out that the judge had been given the wrong test, which was discovered after ringing the bell twice for what she initially assumed was Stapley going off course. After a long wait while the mix-up was corrected, Stapley was able to shake it off and not only secured first place in Upper Training level, but also the overall high score of the entire show.
First year student Jessi Fore (Wenatchee, Wash. / Wenatchee) had a similar frustrating situation with her First level mount. Before her ride, her assigned horse was switched not only once but twice, and she ended up riding a horse that she had been unable to watch warm up. However she rallied and put together a very harmonious ride anyhow.
The Briton "A" team ended up in third place overall, and the "B" team finished in seventh place. Their next competition will be a double header on February 20 and 21 at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio.
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