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.
The final two shows for Region D of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) were rolled into one weekend at Lake Erie College on February 22 and 23. At the end of the weekend when the (metaphorical) dust settled, the Albion College team landed in third place in the regional standings. And three Albion riders could win a wild card chance to compete at IDA Nationals, too.
The first day of competition resulted in some solid scores and placings for the Britons. Kayleigh Harvey (Ada/Forest Hills Eastern) won second place with her 65.75% ride in the lower training division. Emma Stapley (Rockford/Rockford) was also second with a 66.179%. Team captain Paige Gustafson’s (Dexter/Dexter) 68.103% ride scored her a fourth place in the first level division. Team A ended day one with a fourth place overall.
Sunday brought more high scores, including an impressive 74.6% from Stapley who captured first place and the high point rider award for the show. Sophomore Ann Armstrong (Janesville, WI/George Parker) won first place in the lower training level class with a 68.33%. Third place in that class was awarded to Harvey for her 65.5%. The Albion Team A won eighth place overall, while Team B captured third place.
Gustafson, Stapley and Harvey end the regular season as reserve champions in their levels. This gives them the chance to possibly win a wild card ticket to compete as individuals at IDA Nationals in April. However they will have to wait to find out until all of the other regions are done competing, and then all of the reserve riders’ average scores are the deciding factor.
According to Gustafson, the team captain, it would be nice to go to Nationals but it has still been a great year either way. “I am very proud of how my team performed this semester. Everyone gave it their all and that is all that I could have asked for. We’re looking forward to a great season again next year.”
The Albion College dressage team started the day off with a bang at their one-day competition held at the University of Findlay on February 15.
The two Albion first level riders dominated their class. Team captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) scored her personal best at an IDA competition, finishing in first place with a 71.6%. Fellow teammate and junior Megan Grobbel (Berlin/Armada) followed her in second place with a score of 69.3%.
Other respectable scores earned by Briton riders include Emma Stapley (Rockford/Rockford), who finished with a 66.4% in her upper training level class. New to the dressage team (and current hunt seat team member), sophomore Ann Armstrong (Janesville, WI/George Parker) competed in lower training level and scored a solid 64.8%.
By the end of the day and amongst stiff competition, the Albion A team finished in sixth place and the B team finished in fifth place.
Newcomers to Region D, the University of Findlay hosted their first Intercollegiate Dressage Association show on November 23. Albion College made the drive down to Findlay, Ohio, although they only took one team of four riders rather than the usual two teams.
Team captain Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter) rode to a first place finish at first level with a 66.5%. Upper training level ended with Emma Stapley (Rockford/Rockford) in second place with a score of 66.6%. Junior Kayleigh Harvey (Ada/Forest Hills Eastern) won fifth place in her lower training level class with a 64.8%. Introductory level rider Lindsay Ciastko (Hammond, IN/La Lumiere) rounded out the team. The Albion team A ended up with a third place overall finish.