The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), Hunt-Seat team competed at Zones, the national qualifier last weekend in Glouchester County, NJ. The team won the region, and qualified themselves for Zones by accumulating the most points in the regular season. Beating out Arcadia University, Bucks County Community College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gwynedd Mercy College, LaSalle University, Penn State University – Berks Campus, Rider University, Rowan University, Susquehanna University, West Chester University and York College of Pennsylvania.
The coaches Cory Kieschnick, and Ciara Menkens selected one person for each of the eight classes respectively, to ride at zones. At zones the team faces 4 other teams who had also won their regions: Penn State- Main Campus, Rutgers University, Centenary College, and University of Delaware.
To go onto IHSA Nationals you must be the first or second place team at Zones. The day started off weaker than expected with Seniors Renee Russo and Rachel Salera picking up only 2 and 3 points in each of their classes. Which put the team in fourth place over all.
Senior Alli Bieans fought back to earn a third place in Intermediate Team Fences and earned the team 4 points. The momentum of the day switched drastically when Senior Olivia Gardener picked up a win in Intermediate Team Flat and pushed the team ahead of the UDel.
Sophomore’s Abby Gess, and Emily Wilmot followed this momentum. Gess and Wilmot picked up a pair of second place ribbons and 5 points each in Team Walk Trot, and Team Novice Fences. Freshman Kim David also took home a blue ribbon. Winning the Team Walk Trot Canter Class and bringing home 7 points to go with it.
With Centenary comfortably in the lead the Aggies went into the last class of the day tied with Penn State Main campus, both with 33 points. Emily Wilmot represented the Team in Team Novice Flat. The tension built as the class entered the ring, all eyes on the Aggies and the Nittany Lions.
Wilmot walked away with a second place ribbon, three spots above the Penn State Rider. Sending the Aggies on to the National Championship. The team also qualified two individual riders, Junior? Kelly Quinn in individual Walk Trot Canter, and Alli Bienas in Individual Novice Fences. They will join Kim David, who qualified for western, in the pool of individual riders the Aggies qualified for IHSA Nationals.
The Delaware Valley University, IHSA team will travel to Lexington, Kentucky on May 4th to the 8th to compete for a national title.