Riders and teams from all over the country that compete within the Intercollegiate Dressage Association converged at Mount Holyoke University in South Hadley, Mass., on April 27-28 for the IDA National Championships. This year Albion College qualified to send a team of four riders, with three of those riders also competing as individuals.
At the end of the first day of competition, the team standings put Albion College into the top ten with a respectable ninth place finish.
Individual competition commenced on the second day, and Albion riders again proved their ability to perform under pressure. Team captain and sophomore Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) came out with a ninth place finish in First Level. Senior Ruthie Doering (Cadillac/Cadillac) secured seventh place in Lower Training Level, and first year rider Maggie-Mae White (South Lyon) pulled off a fourth place in Introductory Level.
The Albion College dressage team had dedicated their season to former teammate and classmate Samantha Christine Green, who passed away suddenly in June 2012. Her memory certainly gave the team a strong reason to show their Briton strength.
The Albion dressage team hosted their final regular competition of the season on home turf at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center on March 23. By the end of the day, one team from the whole region was confirmed to go to IDA Nationals along with eight individual riders (two from each level). That team turned out to be Albion College, and three of those individual spots were filled by Albion riders as well.
Three Albion riders completed dressage tests with percentage scores in the 70’s. Team captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) drew one of her favorite mounts, Albion College Romulus, and together they secured an impressive 74.32% at First Level, also winning reserve high score for the day and winning their class. Megan Grobbel (Berlin/Armada) rode Albion College St. James to a 70% in Upper Training Level, and teammate Maggie-Mae White (South Lyon) rode Albion College Clare for a 70.63% in Introductory Level.
Other notable Albion placings included a second place for first-year student Emma Stapley (Rockford/Rockford), a third place for senior Ruthie Doering (Cadillac/Cadillac), and a fourth place for Stephanie Early (Watsonville, CA/Monte Vista Christian). At the end of the day, both of Albion’s teams were awarded Champion and Reserve Champion of the whole show (“B” team winning Champion, and the “A” team winning Reserve). These wins clinched the regional title for Albion College.
The Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) Nationals will take place at Mount Holyoke University in South Hadley, Mass., on April 26-28. Albion riders going to compete at Nationals are as follows:
- Paige Gustafson – individual and team (First Level)
- Alyssa Olson – team (Upper Training Level)
- Ruthie Doering – individual and team (Lower Training Level)
- Maggie-Mae White – individual and team (Introductory Level)
The Albion College dressage team traveled to Lake Erie College to compete in their second Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) doubleheader of the season on February 16-17, and they returned home with ribbons galore.
The first day of the show, team captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) rode away Reserve Champion at First Level. Fellow teammate Gabi Angelini (Windsor, CT/Loomis-Chaffee) placed third in her Introductory class. Other Briton riders brought home placings in the top six as well, rounding out the day with a fourth place team finish for team “A” and ninth place finish for team “B.”
On the second day of competition, the Briton riders really stepped up to the plate. First year rider Maggie-Mae White (South Lyon) put forth a strong performance in the Introductory class and came out in first place and High Point Rider with an impressive 71.25 percent. Senior Ruthie Doering (Cadillac/Cadillac) also won her Lower Training class on Sunday. Strong performances resulted in third place finishes for Stephanie Early (Watsonville, CA/Monte Vista Christian), Megan Grobbel (Berlin/Armada), Emma Stapley (Rockford/Rockford), and again for Angelini.
By the end of Sunday, there was a three-way tie for first place between Albion team “A”, Lake Erie College team “A”, and Albion team “B.” Not bad to be the two out of three teams vying for first place!
The Albion dressage team will host their final pre-Nationals show on home turf at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center on March 23.
Briton dressage was a force to be reckoned with during the doubleheader Intercollegiate Dressage Association show hosted by Michigan State University on October 27-28. Many of the riders gained some valuable ground towards qualifying for IDA Nationals.
On Saturday, the Albion “A” team was awarded first place led by senior Ruthie Doering (Cadillac/Cadillac). Doering won her Lower Training level class and was named Reserve High Score Champion for the whole day.
The second day of competition was heavily dominated by Albion riders. Doering again won her Lower Training level class. First-year student Gabriela Angelini (Windsor, CT/Loomis-Chaffee) tied with fellow teammate Maggie-Mae White (South Lyon) for first place in the Introductory level. Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) was happy to draw one of the Albion horses on Sunday. Riding “Albion College Romulus” she won first place at First level and was awarded Reserve High Score Champion for the day.
The Albion College “A” team won second place overall on Sunday, while the Albion “B” team took home first place.
“I could not be more proud of my girls,” says Gustafson. “We had a very successful weekend, and we rode it all the way through. It was a great start to the season, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings.”