Nationals-Bound: Must be the Mustaches
There must be something in the air here at the Equestrian Center, because representatives from all three disciplines will be riding at Nationals this year. Of course, by ‘something’ I mean hard work, dedication, extra lessons, lots of sweat, and fruit wearing mustaches.
The hunt seat team traveled to Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio this past weekend to compete at Hunt Seat Zones- the top two teams advance to Nationals in Harrisburg, PA in a few weeks’ time. Riders Charlotte Tate, Allie Drost, Jackie Yeager, Kayla Akers, Dani Ross, Alex Roe, Rachel McConell, Helena Kervinen, and Kylie Fleming represented the Miami team in an effort to secure the hunt seat bid for Nationals. With about thirty schools in attendance, competition was certainly fierce for the top slots. Miami finished as Reserve Champions of Zone 6, just a hair away from winning the zone.
The RedHawks had some great rides, with Allie Drost and Jackie Yeager both finishing in the blue in the Open. Allie was 1st in the Open Flat for Miami and 2nd on the Open Flat as an individual, which means she will be showing at Nationals as an individual and for the team! Jackie Yeager took 1st in the team Open Fences, 4th in the Open Flat as an individual and 6th Open Fences as an individual.
Charlotte Tate won the Intermediate Flat as an individual, sending her to Harrisburg as the zone champion in that class. Alex Roe finished 1st in the Intermediate Fences and 2nd in the Intermediate Flat for Miami- great job! Kayla Akers and Dani Ross both finished in 3rd place- Kayla in the Novice Flat and Dani in the Individual Walk/Trot/Canter. Rachel McConnell and Helena Kervinen had good rides and finished in 5th- Rachel for the team in Novice Fences and Helena for the team Walk/Trot/Canter. Finishing out the day was Kylie Fleming in the Walk/Trot, who had a solid ride and took home 4th place.
In the words of Charlotte Tate, “the 2nd place team, us, and the 3rd place team were really close, 2 point difference, so it all came down to the last class whether we would move on to nationals as a team or not. Alex Roe pulled through on the last class by placing 2nd, confirming our 2nd place spot and the fact that we were moving on to Nationals. The team’s excitement when we realized we were moving on was overwhelming.”
Now, of course there is always a talisman, a magic charm, a foam sword or a lucky fruit that accompanies MUET to a horse show. At Zones, the mustaches were a hit- all team members and coaches Lori and Heather drew mustaches on their hands to bring good luck (and good cheer, for that matter).
The hunt seat team and Charlotte Tate and Allie Drost as individuals as well as Sam Kershner in western who made it through at Semi-Finals will be heading to Harrisburg for IHSA Nationals. Congratulations to all riders and coaches on a fantastic season.