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.
Equestrian Riders Receive Visit From IHSA Founder
Bob Cacchione started the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association as a teenager at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. The organization now boasts a membership of more than 380 colleges and 9,000 riders, but the executive director drew on the humble beginning to inspire the Albion College equestrian program during his Feb. 10-11 visit to the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center.
"You have a dream. Follow that dream, work hard and make it happen," Cacchione said when asked about his message to Albion riders at Feb. 10 pizza party. "Doors have been opened for you already in this industry. Now you go through those doors."
The Albion College stock seat team kicked off the second half of their season in style on January 15, qualifying not one, but four riders for the upcoming IHSA regional meet.
Katie Petchell (Pinckney/Pinckney), who won a regional championship last year and competed at the 2011 IHSA Semi-Finals, led the group, earning her second consecutive qualification in the open and reining divisions. She also set the example for the three first-year students who stamped own tickets to the regional meet for the very first time: Morgan Carey (Hemlock/St. Charles Community) and Elle Root (Alpena/Alpena) both qualified in the intermediate division and Chantal Chuba (Grosse Pointe Park/Grosse Pointe South) qualified in walk-trot.
Senior Olivia Choate (Fenwick/Gratton Academy) also won her final open division class, a win that puts her in good stead heading into the upcoming regional show, for which she qualified earlier in the season.
As a team, the Britons finished third overall in the regular season standings for IHSA Zone 6 Region 4, after a third place team result in the morning half of Sunday’s double-header and a fourth in the afternoon. They will gain home field advantage in the regional meet on February 25, as it will be hosted at the Albion College Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center.
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