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.Junior 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
With 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.
Petchell and Carey Qualify for IHSA Nationals
Albion College will make its second IHSA National Championship appearance in May following the strong performances of junior Katie Petchell (Pinckney/Pinckney) and first-year Morgan Carey (Hemlock/St. Charles Community) at the stock seat semi finals at Florida State University on March 24 and 25.
Petchell, in her second semi finals appearance, placed third aboard Gator in the Open division reining class out of 15 riders to secure her place in the national championship. Later, in the Intermediate division horsemanship class, Carey drew Gator for her ride and stamped her own ticket to Nationals with a third place finish out of 16 riders.
Rounding out the Albion contingent in Florida was first-year rider Chantal Chuba (Grosse Pointe Park/Grosse Pointe South), who gave a strong ride in the beginner horsemanship class, but wasn’t able to secure a call-back to ride off.
The IHSA National Championship show will be May 3 through 6 at the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina.