Miami University Equestrian

The progress of Miami University Equestrian

Archive for the month “April, 2013”


The end of the school year is rapidly approaching.  Students are scurrying to write term papers, and prepping for next week’s final exams.  The stables have been abuzz with students getting a few last rides in before heading to Nationals, or working with outside professionals in our clinics.  With graduation only a few weeks away, the students and coaches took a moment out of their crazy schedules to dress up, reflect on the success of the year, and recognize the seniors during the annual MUET Gala.


This year’s Gala was held at Shriver for the first time in its history.  There was a record number of people in attendance; 175 students, parents, and coaches came to celebrate in this yearly social gathering.  Kicking off the event was a silent auction.  40 items were up for bid including wine, an iPad, an iPod, gift baskets, and clothing.  The auction was a resounding success and a great fundraiser for the team.

A special thanks goes out to Carillon Catering for a wonderful meal of chicken florentine served with garlic mashed potatoes, zucchini, squash and rolls.  Rounding out the meal were two desserts, an Oreo torte and New York style cheesecake.  Yum!

After dinner, president Tom Schoen and Jenna Samuels presented a video showcasing all the highlights of the year.  It was then time to hand out scholarships to some very deserving and dedicated team riders.  The Smokescreen Scholarship, given by the Willoughby family, was awarded to Courtney Johnson and the Truman Scholarship, given by the Jordan family, was awarded to Julia Prus.  The senior member award was presented to Kelly Herdman, while the returning member award was presented to Bre Lukan.  Lastly, the Citro award, presented by Beth, was awarded to Tom Schoen for his journey through riding, his work ethic while working at the barn, and his overall sportsmanship.


Next were speeches by both coaches and seniors.  These speeches gave inspiration, made the room light up in smiles and laughter, and even caused a few tears.  Highlights include Lori and Heather’s “canter left, canter right” demonstration, Lindsey’s humbled speech about how proud she was to take her Dressage riders to Nationals, and Liz Chasky’s “10 Rules for Freshman” which ended in the most important rule of all, “Don’t blink.”


Then it was time for the gifts.  The students gave the coaches a gift basket of items to help refresh and rejuvenate.  Items included candles, soap, a hat, and a Luna Blu gift card.  The seniors also received a gift to honor their involvement over the last few years and help them to remember their time riding for Miami: a photo book with personalized pictures from the last four years.


The festivities continued the next morning as the seniors took a ride on a favorite steed in what is sure to become an annual event.


For even more photos of both the Gala and the senior ride, check out the team’s Shutterfly account:


Dressage Team Nationals Bound

It has been a tight race all year for the top Dressage team in the region with only a few points separating the top teams.  This competition all came down to the last show of the season, hosted at Miami last weekend.


Miami competed two teams on both Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday, senior Kelly Herdman had a strong showing, earning a 3rd place in her First Level test.  Liesel Pfleger and Jeana-Rae Schaper earned 4th and 6th respectively in the Upper Training.  Senior, Erika Anderson earned 5th and Amy Fleitz captured a second place ribbon in the Lower Training level.  In the Intro, Bre Lukan scored a 69.06% and took home a second place ribbon while Kathi Ropers earned 6th place in her first IDA show.  Miami’s Team A finished Reserve Champion Team for Saturday and Team B earned 6th place overall.


The competition continued to increase in intensity on Sunday.  Miami’s riders knew they were in the running for first place team for the region, but didn’t know just how close they were.  They put their game faces on as they entered the arena.  Kelly Herdman placed 5th riding a First level test.  Liesel Pfleger earned 6th place in the Upper Training, and Jeana-Rae Schaper took home 2nd place with a score of 74.84%, the highest score for any Miami rider throughout the weekend.  In the Lower Training level, senior Caili Pierro earned first place with the score of 71.46% and senior Christine Debrosse earned 7th place.  In the Intro level, Bre Lukan and Emily Swatkowski earned 2nd and 6th respectively.  Miami’s Team A earned Champion Team for the day and Team B finished in 8th place.


Miami would like to give a special thanks to Otterbein University for bringing their horses this weekend.

After an impressive two days of riding, the results were in.  Miami placed first in the region and will therefore be heading to the IDA Nationals for the first time ever!  Congratulations and good luck!

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Hunt Seat Riders Compete at Zones

Five Miami riders qualified for the Hunt Seat Zones competition which was held last Saturday at West Virginia University.  These Redhawks demonstrated poise and dedication, representing Miami proudly throughout the day.


Kitty Sarosy was the first Redhawk in the ring, competing in the Individual Open Equitation over Fences division, riding Murph.  The judge brought back the top four riders to compete in a jumping and flat test without their stirrups.  Kitty showcased her hard work during countless practices throughout the year and held on to her first place position. She finished Champion in the Open Fences, earning her ticket to Nationals.  Kelsey Kleinert also competed in the Open Fences division and placed 8th riding Strutt.

Jackie Yeager competed in the second class of the day, Intermediate Equitation over Fences.  She rode a lovely course on  TK.  This was a large class, and Jackie had to wait for each rider to jump the course before finally hearing the results.  She earned Reserve Champion for the division and will also be heading to Nationals.

After the jumping classes, the competition moved outside to the larger outdoor arena for the flat classes.  The first Redhawk to compete on the flat was Jenna Samuels in the Intermediate division.  She rode Rusty, navigating through a ring full of riders and placed 7th in the Zone.  Next up was the Open Flat and Kitty was back in the ring along with Jamie Donovan.  Kitty finished in 3rd place on a horse named Doug and Jamie placed 9th on Chloe.


Miami would like to thank Danielle Paulson and Tom Schoen for their support and help in running the show smoothly.  Tom’s amazing announcing skills were put to the test and Danielle kept the entries and prizes organized.

Our region proved to be one of the strongest at Zones, sending through the highest number of individual riders to Nationals.  In addition, Otterbein University earned Champion Team honors for the Zone.  This is a testament to the strong competition and quality of riding we have seen throughout the year.


Kitty and Jackie will represent Miami at Nationals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania May 2-4.  In addition to competing in the Open Flat Division, Kitty will also compete in the Cacchione Cup as the high point rider of our division.  Congratulations and good luck!

Full Steam Ahead

The stables are now full of riders, instructors, and horses as spring programming keeps the equestrian center busy as ever.  Several team lessons throughout the day make use of the spacious arena which allows for multiple lessons to run simultaneously.

The jumps are now set in the ring, and the hunt seat team is enjoying feeling the wind through their hair as they canter courses.  They are also preparing to take on Zones this weekend.


The dressage team has been working hard on perfecting tests in the dressage ring.  They are preparing for their final horse show of the season on April 13-14.  This will also be the first show hosted at Miami’s updated facility.


The western team has been working on patterns, preparing for an invitational horse show at the University of Findlay.


In addition to the team, classes through KNH have started back up again.  There are currently two advanced horseback riding classes meeting twice a week for the last sprint of the semester.  KNH will return to full programming in the fall.

Two Redhawks Take On Western Semifinals

March cold and snow didn’t keep MUET western riders Leah Moore and Steven Lakin grounded.  Along with coach, Beth Akers, they boarded a 6:25 a.m. flight  out of the Dayton airport on March 22, bound for the Semifinal round of competition in Syracuse, New York. 599196_10101004632654978_1517039305_n Three separate Semifinal competitions are held throughout the country during the same weekend in March to narrow the field down to 12 riders in each division.  These riders will compete at Nationals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Semifinals consist of two days of competition.  On Saturday, each rider competes on the rail and performs a pattern.  The top 8 riders in each division qualify for the finals on Sunday.  They again compete on the rail, followed by a more complex pattern.  The top four move on to Nationals. On Sunday, Steven rode a horse named “Peppy” from Oswego State, qualifying for the finals.  He drew the same horse on Sunday and earned an 8th place in the Open Horsemanship division.  Leah rode equally well.  She drew “DaVinci,” also from Oswego State, on Saturday and qualified for the finals in the Advanced Horsemanship division.  On Sunday, she had a beautiful ride on “Starry,” and earned 6th place.  Steven and Leah’s successes this year put them in the top 24 IHSA riders in their respective divisions.  A huge congratulations to both Leah and Steven on their accomplishments. 157034_584527981557493_198877237_n The MUET hunt seat qualifiers will compete at Zones on April 6th to earn a spot at Nationals.

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