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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.

Three Britons Move Forward to IHSA Western Semi-Finals

Three Albion College riders will need extra sunscreen for March after qualifying on Saturday for IHSA Western Semi-Finals at Florida State University.

Junior Katie Petchell (Pinckney/Pinckney), a Semi-Finals qualifier from last year, once more secured her spot with a top performance in reining – a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that she is spending the spring semester completing a full-time accounting internship and her saddle time has been somewhat limited.

She will be joined in Florida by first-year riders Chantal Chuba (Grosse Pointe Park/Grosse Pointe South) and Morgan Carey (Hemlock/St. Charles Community), who are qualified in the Walk-Trot and Intermediate divisions, respectively.

Four other Briton equestrians qualified for the regional competition, which was hosted at Albion’s Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center.  Senior Olivia Choate (Fenwick/Gratton Academy), junior Elizabeth Petschar (Iron Mountain/Kingsford), sophomore Hannah Pankratz (Bad Axe/Bad Axe), and first-year Elle Root (Alpena/Alpena) all put in strong performances but were kept just out of Semi-Final contention.

IHSA Semi-Finals are March 24 and 25 at Florida State University’s Ocala Equestrian Complex.

Levy Leads Dressage Team at Lake Erie

Three Albion dressage riders stamped their tickets to the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) national championship show during the double-header at Lake Erie College (Painesville, OH) over the weekend, capping an already-strong season for the Britons.

Lauren Levy (Amherst, MA/Stoneleigh-Burnham School) led the team with first and second place finishes at First Level, respectively.  Levy made the switch to Albion’s dressage team in the fall after two successful years on the hunt seat team.

Following her example were junior Alyssa Olson (Clarkston/Clarkston), who qualified for nationals at Lower Training Level and first-year student Paige Gustafson (Dexter/Dexter), who will compete in Upper Training Level.

It will be the first IDA National Championship appearance for all three students, but not for coach Danielle Menteer, who has taken Albion riders to the national level every year since her arrival at the Held Equestrian Center in the fall of 2007.

“This has been a very strong team all season and it’s exciting to still have one more show ahead of us,” Menteer said.  “All of our riders worked hard this season and I’ve been consistently impressed with how far everyone’s riding has come since fall.”

Other notable performances over the weekend came from first-year Paige Trudeau (Howell/Howell), who earned a second place finish at Upper Training Level and team captain Nora Cox (Minneapolis, MN/Homeschool) who finished in third place at Introductory Level.

The 2012 IDA National Championship competition will be hosted by Centenary College (Hackettstown, NJ) on April 28 and 29.

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