Britons Open IHSA Stock Seat Season at Saginaw Valley State

The stock seat team opened their season strong with two third-place team finishes at the Saginaw Valley State meet on October 10 at the Midland County Fairgrounds.

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Riders Reflect on Season's First Show

Albion started the 2015-2016 equestrian hunt seat season with an Oct. 3-4 doubleheader show co-hosted by Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University.

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Christine Grahl, ’11

Christine Grahl, ’11

Major: Economics and Management, German

Current Location: Califon, New Jersey

Job Title: Equine Import Export Coordinator

In a nutshell, what do you do, and did Albion prepare you for the job?

I coordinate the import of horses into the United States from Europe, specifically Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and eastern European countries. I also assist in the export of horses from the United States to the Middle East and Europe. Albion played a big roll in preparing me for this job. Albion helped to facilitate my position at Horseflight.com through the study abroad program in Dresden, Germany where I was able to intern at the Sachsen Thueringen Horse Association. Through my internship at the association I was introduced to the manager at Horseflight.com and was later offered a job. Albion also helped me attain the skills and confidence to succeed.

What did it mean for you to be involved in equestrian activities at Albion?

My involvement at the equestrian center meant a great deal to me. My time at the Held Center was always a highlight to my day. I made many friends, was able to improve my riding skills, and it was a good break from class. I was part of the Albion hunt seat team and also took dressage lessons with Danielle Menteer. Both the equestrian team and the riding lessons helped me become a more confident rider and person overall.

What's your favorite equestrian memory?

My very first hunt seat team show was hosted by Western Michigan University, I won the first class I competed in. I remember reflecting back on my life at that moment and thinking that my dad would have been very proud of me. And as I was looking up into the sky, I knew he was smiling down at me from heaven.

Are you still active in equestrian life? 

I am the luckiest person in the world! I get to work with horses almost everyday.  One of my jobs at Horseflight is to greet the horses arriving to the U.S from Europe at John F. Kennedy airport; I also care for and exercise horses before they are flown to their various destinations. After work and on the weekends, I have the pleasure of riding and showing my horse. Horses are my passion. I couldn’t imagine life without them!

How did your Albion experience help you in your career?

I am glad to be an Albion graduate because it helped me become who I am today. The support and knowledge of my mentors, professors, riding instructors, and friends have helped me become a confident and forward-thinking individual. I can’t thank Albion enough for its dedication to me.

Brittney Stanton, '14

Brittany Stanton, '14

Major: Biology, with a chemistry minor

Current Location: Urbana, Illinois

Job Title: Veterinary Student at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

In a nutshell, what do you do, and did Albion prepare you for the job?

I am a first year veterinarian student at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.  My undergraduate studies at Albion prepared me for veterinary school by fulfilling all of my pre-requisite course requirements and also offered research opportunities, leadership roles and extracurricular involvement.

What did it mean for you to be involved in equestrian activities at Albion?

I was on the Albion equestrian team for the four years I was at Albion. Being on the team offered me an opportunity to continue riding and competing which I have always loved to do. Albion has a beautiful equestrian facility where students can board their horse as well. That meant a lot to me to have that option. I was able to bring my horse, Troy.

Being involved with the Albion equestrian team allowed me to immediately meet a group of students who had similar interests as me, and I have become lifelong friends with a number of them. Riding on the team enabled me to improve my time management skills. I needed to be able to do well with my academics and also fit in my riding lessons for the team and make time for the meets on the weekends.

I also got involved with the equestrian club which was a lot of fun because we organized and participated in a lot of community programs such as parades, Pumpkin Chunkin’, and fundraisers.

What's your favorite equestrian memory?

Being on the equestrian team was always fun! My favorite memory is that as a senior I won Zones in the Open Jumping Division which qualified me to show at IHSA Nationals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I am the first hunt seat rider in the history of the College to qualify and compete at IHSA Nationals. This has always been a goal I have wanted to achieve and a memory I will never forget.

Are you still active in equestrian life? 

I am still active with horses.  I found a new barn to ride at while in veterinary school. I am only able to ride once or twice a week now because of my rigorous studies.  It is very important to me because it is a stress relief for me to be able to go ride. It is a nice break from my studying.  IHSA also has an alumni division that I am participating in as my studies allow.

How did your Albion experience help you in your career?

My equestrian and Albion experiences helped me achieve my goal of getting into veterinary school. Albion offered me the academic classes and the research opportunities I needed to apply to veterinarian school.

The equestrian program provided me with the extracurricular activity which proved I could excel athletically as well as academically, and it proved that I had good time management abilities. I also engaged in leadership roles and community service while in the equestrian program at Albion which was beneficial on my resume for veterinary school.

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