News and Events

'Pumpkin Chunkers' Sought for Equestrian Club Contest

Fruit will be flying at the Albion College Equestrian Club's first annual Pumpkin Chunkin' contest Friday, November 2 at the Held Equestrian Center, located 1/4 mile south of the intersection of 29 Mile Road and Albion-Concord Road in Albion. Setup begins at 4:30 p.m., with a 5 p.m. launch.

According to Equestrian Club member Alyssa Olson, "pumpkin chunkin'" is the sport of launching pumpkins with team-built catapults. Although complicated catapult plans are available on the Internet, Olson stressed that their competition is focused on fun. "Two sticks in the ground with an exercise band works great," she said. "We want this to be something kids and families can get involved in."

Along with the contest, the Equestrian Club will sell homemade concessions.

The contest entry fee is $20/team. The Equestrian Club will supply pumpkins but not catapult materials. For a complete list of rules, see or contact organizer Heather Waldron, , or contact the Held Equestrian Center, 517/629-0836.

Britons Find Success at IHSA National Championship

The 14 hour drive to Raleigh, North Carolina didn't seem to have an effect on the riding abilities of Albion stock seat riders Katie Petchell (Pinckney/Pinckney) or Morgan Carey (Hemlock/St. Charles Community), as both girls made their debut appearances at the IHSA National Championship show May 2-4.DSC02900Junior Katie Petchell drew Peppy for her Open reining ride at the 2012 IHSA National Championships.  (Photo credit:  Mark King)

Both riders qualified as individuals for the event, which featured 400 college equestrians from 189 colleges and universities across the country.  Petchell, a junior, finished eleventh in the Open reining event and Carey, having just completed her first year at Albion, finished seventh in Intermediate horsemanship.

Albion's stock seat team is the youngest of its three intercollegiate teams and its strong showing during the 2011-2012 competition season was undeniable.  Three individuals from the team - Petchell, Cary, and first-year rider Chantal Chuba (Grosse Pointe Park/Grosse Pointe South) moved through IHSA Regionals to compete in the Semi-Final competition at Florida State University in March.  While there, Petchell and Carey drew the same horse for their respective classes and had the same level of success when they stamped their tickets to Nationals in Raleigh.

After a summer hiatus, the Albion College stock seat team will return to action in the new school year this fall.

Watch video from Petchell's ride here and from Carey's ride here.

Levy Named Reserve National Champion

L-R: Lauren Levy '12, Paige Gustafson '15, and Alyssa Olson '13With a score of 69.472% and a nearly flawless ride at First Level, senior Lauren Levy (Amherst, MA/Stoneleigh Burnham School)capped her collegiate equestrian career with a reserve championship at the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championship hosted by Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Levy made her intercollegiate dressage debut last fall after spending the early years of her Albion College career as a member of the school's hunt seat team.  A multifaceted rider, she competes her own horse, Ultair's Bailey in both jumping and dressage competitions and in March, she was a member of the Albion Prix de Villes dressage team that secured a third place finish at Lake Erie College.

Also qualifying as individuals for the IDA National Championship were junior Alyssa Olson (Clarkston/Clarkston) and first-year student Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter).  Olson had previously attended Nationals as a first-year student as part of Albion's team and in her first individual appearance netted a fifth place finish in the Lower Training division.  Gustafson was the first Albion first-year student to secure an individual berth to Nationals and came in twelfth at Upper Training.

"I was incredibly proud of all three of my riders," said dressage coach and interim equestrian director Danielle Menteer.  "They have really improved all season and each one of them came to Nationals prepared and focused on what they needed to do to be successful.  Their strong finishes were just the icing on the cake."

Levy will graduate from Albion on Saturday and has already secured a position with Amerigroup Corporation.  Olson and Gustafson will spend the summer training at home and return to Albion in the fall.

Albion Riders Land on the Podium at Prix de Villes

Consistent, correct rides were the secret to the success of a group of Albion College dressage riders at the 2012 Prix de Villes of North America over the final weekend of March – and those rides, in turn, helped the team land on the podium at the end of the weekend.

Three of the Albion riders – Lauren Levy (Amherst, MA/Stoneleigh Burnham School), Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter), and Elizabeth White (Rocklin, CA/Saint Francis) – laid down scores of 68% on the second day of showing to boost the overall average to 67.5% for the team and earn them a third place finish.  The fourth team member, Robin Todd (Mill Valley, CA/Tamiscal), led the team on Saturday with a 66.8%.

Hosted annually by Lake Erie College, the Prix de Villes of North America is a different type of competition than that which intercollegiate riders normally have an opportunity to participate in.  Sanctioned by the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), the Prix de Villes is open to all riders – juniors, amateurs, and professionals – who compete on teams of four.  Also different from intercollegiate competitions, the riders bring their own horses to the show.

Levy competed aboard her own horse, Ultairs Bailey, while Gustafson, White, and Todd competed with three Albion College-owned mounts – Albion College Romulus, Albion College Bronson, and Albion College Big Rapids, respectively.

“The girls rode phenomenally,” said Interim Equestrian Director Danielle Menteer, who coached the riders over the weekend.  “I was impressed with the way they were able to put their tests together and also with how supportive they were of one another.  It truly was a team effort and their hard work paid off!”

Watch video from the event here.

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