Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center

Petchell Leads Team at Grand Valley State University

A reserve high point award for sophomore open division rider Katie Petchell (Pinckney/Pinckney) helped boost the Britons to a third place team finish at the Grand Valley State University double-header on November 7.

Sophomore Katie Petchell following her reserve championship ride-off.

Petchell's award was determined at the end of the day after a three-way ride-off between Albion and two riders from Michigan State University. She also put points on the board with a second in her rail class and a win in reining.

Fellow sophomore Amanda Douglas (Cheboygan/Cheboygan) also had an outstanding meet, securing a regionals berth for spring in the novice division. Her success meant that Albion now has half of the team qualified for IHSA regional competition.

The Grand Valley meet was not without a bittersweet moment, however. Four-year team member Kelsey Lauer (Traverse City/Traverse City Central) will graduate from Albion in December, which meant that the show marked her last IHSA competition. Lauer earned a second and third place finish in the double-header, helping the team's overall score and allowing her
to go out on a high note.

The Briton stock seat team returns to competition after the holidays with a double-header at Michigan State University.

Stock Seat Team Qualifies Three More for Regionals

Home field advantage paid off for several members of the Briton stock seat team, as three of them qualified for the IHSA regional competition in the spring. Seniors Kiva Auten (Houghton/Houghton) and Alyssa Ford (Clayton/Hudson), as well as junior Olivia Choate (Fenwick/Gratton Academy) all took wins in their divisions to help the team to a third place finish during the morning show and stamp their tickets into the postseason.

Auten and Ford will compete at the regional show in the advanced division while Choate is qualified for novice. During the 2009-2010 season, the Britons just missed out on a berth for the entire team, so the focus this year will be to gain their first post-season qualification as a team. Sarah Spencer (Jonesville/Jonesville) went through to the IHSA zone show in 2009-2010 and qualified at the first meet of the season to return to regionals in the novice division.

Albion stock seat gets a short break before they next compete at Grand Valley State University on November 7.

Stock Seat Earns Reserve High Point in Season Opener

The Briton stock seat riders began their fall season with a reserve championship at their October 9 double-header hosted by Saginaw Valley State University. Zone qualifier from the 2009-2010 season, senior Sarah Spencer (Jonesville/Jonesville) led the team with placings in the novice division that qualified her for the regional competition in the spring.

The western team's first meet of 2010.Coached by Denise Webber, Albion's team came into the season carrying several returning riders who have considerable experience with the IHSA competition format. New to the draw this fall are first-year students Hanna Peeples (Montpelier, OH/Edon) and Michelle Miele (Bloomfield Hills/International Academy), both of whom have helped fill places in the crucial Walk-Trot division. (Many IHSA competitions come down to points earned in the Walk-Trot classes and it is one of the most hotly contested divisions in intercollegiate competition.)

Sophomore Amanda Douglas (Cheboygan/Cheboygan), now in her second year as a member of the team, said, "I was really proud of our team. We came on really strong in the morning and now we just need to consciously carry that across the whole day."

The Briton stock seat team next competes at home on October 16.

Britons Earn Third Place at Home Meet

Home field advantage worked somewhat to Albion's advantage during their home intercollegiate dressage meet on November 20.  Led by solid finishes from Alyssa Olson (Clarkston/Clarkston), who came second in the Lower Training division, and by First Level region leader Kjirsten Sneed (Washburn, Wis./Washburn), the Briton's "A" team secured a third place team finish of the 12 teams assembled at the Held Equestrian Center.

Danielle Menteer coaches Kjirsten Sneed in the warm-up arena.
Danielle Menteer coaches Kjirsten Sneed in the warm-up arena.

In the Upper Training division, sophomore Greer Clemons (Powell, OH/Olentangy) finished third and junior Nora Cox (Minneapolis, Minn./Homeschool) gave a solid ride in the Introductory division to add to the "A" team's point tally.  (Cox had a bit of excitement at the conclusion of her ride when one of the horses in the warm up dumped his rider and galloped into the arena where she was saluting the judge; no one was injured and Cox's score was unaffected.)

"I was proud not only of the way that my team rode this weekend, but of all of the effort they put into organizing the entire show," coach Danielle Menteer said.

The Albion team currently sits third in the regional standings but the top three schools are only separated by four points, setting up an exciting spring season as teams begin to look forward to the national championship in April.

The next competition for Briton dressage will be at Lake Erie College on February 19.


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