The dressage team traveled to the University of Findlay on February 14 to compete against nine teams. Junior Jackson Regen (Nashville, Tenn. / Hillsboro) led the team with an impressive score of 74 percent, which not only won him first place in his class but also the individual high score of the whole competition.
Teammates Paige Beliveau (West Newbury, MA / St. Thomas Acquinas) and Elizabeth Neustadt (Bloomfield Hills / International Academy) both took home third place ribbons. First-year student Jourdan Tonti (Livonia / Livonia Churchill) rode to a fourth place finish in her class. The Albion team A finished as reserve champions overall, and team B finished in fifth place.
The Britons’ next competition will be a double-header at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio on February 21 and 22. This will be their final regular season competition.
With no drop score riders, the Albion team was in a challenging position, and they did quite well at the November 22 show hosted by the University of Findlay. The way the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) shows work is that each team of four riders is able to use a “drop score,” meaning they disregard the team’s lowest score to determine final standings. Normally Albion carries eight riders on the dressage team so we can have an A team and a B team. However this semester, the team is down to just six riders, meaning that they have two teams of three and no dropped score.
Team captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) rode her First level test for an impressive 70.5 percent scoring her a fourth place finish. Junior Paige Beliveau (West Newbury, Mass./St. Thomas Aquinas) wound up in fifth place at First level.
First-year student Jourdan Tonti (Livonia/Livonia Churchill) won second place, and sophomore Elizabeth Neustadt (Bloomfield Hills/International Academy) took home a sixth place, both at Introductory level. Junior Jackson Regen (Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro) won fifth place with a 66.7 percent in Upper Training level, and senior Kayleigh Harvey (Ada/Forest Hills Eastern) earned a 66.8 percent in the same division to get fourth place.
At the end of the day, the Albion teams stood in fourth place and eighth place.
The Intercollegiate Dressage Association season opened up with a two-day double-header hosted by Michigan State University on October 18 and 19. Five Albion College school horses were brought along to be used in the draw, so the six Albion riders juggled caring for the horses and competing twice throughout the weekend.
Although first timers to the IDA arena, both junior Jackson Regen (Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro) and freshman Jourdan Tonti (Livonia/Livonia Churchill) dominated with their scores on Saturday. Regen won first place in Upper Training and captured the high percentage of the day, and Tonti (who also won her Introductory class) followed with the reserve high percentage. Tonti then came back on Sunday to score an impressive 72 percent and snag the high score of the day.
Junior Paige Beliveau (West Newbury, Mass./St. Thomas Aquinas), who along with Regen compete on the Albion hunt seat team as well, scored a big win in her First level class on Sunday. Other notable rides include a fourth place by captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) at First level, and Kayleigh Harvey (Ada/Forest Hills Eastern) who also won fourth in Upper Training level.
In the end, the Albion A and B teams came away with second, third, fifth, and eighth place ribbons, and are off to a strong start.
Dressage team captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) was determined to make her third year at Albion also her third time to compete at the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championships. And she met her goal by earning a wildcard spot to compete in the First Level division on April 12 in Danville, VA at the IDA Nationals hosted by Averett University.
Gustafson performed USEF First Level test 3 for the judges aboard an unfamiliar horse with 10 minutes of warm-up time. The result was a final score of 65.162 percent and an impressive third place finish.
Ten days later Gustafson won the perpetual trophy for the Albion College dressage team MVP, The George Halkett Dressage Award. Equestrian director and coach Danielle Menteer awarded her the trophy at the annual equestrian awards banquet.