March 5, 2014--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Western Equestrian Team won the 2013-14 Regional Championship (Zone 7, Region 3) March 2 at the UWRF Campus Farm. They competed against eight other campuses to take the top honor.
The UWRF team competed in nine different shows during the regular season. They won four high point awards, tied for high point awards twice, and won one reserve high point award during the regular season to secure the High Point Team Championship. This earned the team a spot at the national semi-finals at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, March 29-30. The top two individuals in each division also move on to the national semi-finals. From there, the team and riders could qualify for the IHSA National Championship Show.
Over the weekend, rider Alie Leonhart, of Hugo, Minn., won the title of AQHA High Point Open Rider for the second year in a row. Carissa Beeksma, of Ashland, and Kayla Mack, of Chisago City, Minn., won individual championships in their respective levels to earn a spot at the semi-finals as well.
Riders who will be representing their level in the team competition at the semi-finals are: Leonhart competing on level 16; Kayla Gosz, of Manitowoc, competing on level 15; Markie Maletzke, of Cedarburg, competing on level 14; Mack competing on level 13; Hannah Symbal, of Stanley, competing on level 12; and, Elizabeth Kieffer, of Kenosha, competing on level 11.
The last time UWRF qualified for semi-finals as a team was in 2004. The 2013-14 UWRF IHSA Western Show Team includes the following riders: Beeksma, Gosz, Kieffer, Leonhart, Mack, Maletzke, Symbal, Michelle Anderson, Taylor Asplin, Jade Baerg, Miranda Christenson, Cara Ericksen, Angie Esselman, Bailey Fernau, Caitlin Finger, Emily Lehman, Hannah Miller, Katie Nelson, Hannah Space, Mary Winkel, and Claire Wojnowiak. The team is coached by Janie Huot.
For more information, contact Huot at 715-425-3342.