AU Western equestrian team wins region; Partridge qualifies for nationals
ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University Western equestrian team won the regional title after wrapping up the regular season unbeaten with a pair of wins at shows held Saturday, March 2, at the AU Equestrian Center.
The Saxons finished first out of five teams competing in the morning and afternoon shows, giving AU a perfect 8-0 mark for the 2012-13 season. Alfred was named Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Zone 2, Region I champions and qualifies to compete at the IHSA Western Semi-Finals March 23-25 in Pomona, CA.
In addition, junior Derek Partridge (Groveland, NY/Geneseo) won one open reining class and placed second in another to clinch a spot in the IHSA National Championships May 2-5 in Harrisburg, PA. Partridge finished the season with seven first-place ribbons in open reining in eight shows, earning him American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) High Point Rider honors for the region, which automatically sends him to nationals.
In Saturday’s morning show, sophomore Lexi Buckheit (Mansfield, PA/Mansfield) took first in open horsemanship and was named High Point Rider. Partridge was named Reserve High Point Rider for the Saturday morning show.
The following AU riders also won events: sophomore Casey Duncan (Stuarts Draft, VA/Stuarts Draft), in advanced horsemanship; sophomore Stephanie Zimicki (Lockport, NY/St. Mary’s) in novice horsemanship; sophomore Ben Proctor (Lowman, NY/Elmira Free Academy) in intermediate horsemanship’ and junior Kaysey Hinkle (Camden, NY/Canden) in beginner horsemanship.
Partridge was named High Point Rider for the Saturday afternoon show after placing first in open horsemanship and second in open reining, with senior Kristen Eklin (Bovey, MN/Grand Rapids) taking Reserve High Point Rider honors.
In addition to Partridge winning in open horsemanship, the following AU riders won events in the Saturday afternoon show: junior Ashley Sinclair (Cheshire, CT/Cheshire) in open reining; senior Brianna Cappiello (Webster, NY/East Rochester) in advanced horsemanship; freshman Caitlin Hughes (North Chittenden, VT/Proctor) in intermediate horsemanship; freshman Haley Argersinger (West Monroe, NY/Paul V. Moore) in novice horsemanship; and freshman Shannon Dalton (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) in beginner horsemanship.
The AU Western team will compete next in the IHSA Zone 2, Region 1 championship show on Sunday, March 10, at the AU Equestrian Center. The following Alfred riders have qualified for regionals: Partridge and Buckheit in reining and open horsemanship; Eklin and Sinclair in open horsemanship; Capiello and junior Kaylyn Slater (Phelps, NY/Midlakes) in novice horsemanship; sophomore Danielle Strange (Wellsboro, NY/Wellsboro), Proctor and sophomore Dijon Brooks (Hartford, CT/Metropolitan Learning Center Magnet School), in intermediate horsemanship; and Hinkle and junior Erin Paterson (Hancock, NY/Oakwood Friends), both in beginner horsemanship.
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