AU Western equestrian team in sixth place after first day of Semi-Finals
POMONA, CA – The Alfred University Western equestrian team was in sixth place after the first day of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Semi-Final show, being held Saturday and Sunday (March 23 and 24) in Pomona, CA.
AU riders competed in three of six team events and also in three individual events on Saturday. The top two teams at semi-finals advance to the IHSA national championships, scheduled for May 2-5 in Harrisburg, PA. The top four riders in each individual class also qualify for nationals.
Junior Derek Partridge (Groveland, NY/Geneseo) and sophomore Lexi Buckheit (Mansfield, PA/Mansfield) were second and third, respectively, in individual open reining Saturday and qualified for nationals. Partridge, as the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) High Point Rider in Zone 2, Region I, had previously qualified for national in open reining.
Also in individual competition Saturday, AU sophomore Danielle Strange (Wellsboro, NY/Wellsboro) was seventh in intermediate horsemanship. Alfred senior Kristen Eklin (Bovey, MN/Grand Rapids) and Buckheit competed in open horsemanship, but neither rider placed.
AU junior Erin Paterson (Hancock, NY/Oakwood Friends) will compete in individual beginner horsemanship on Sunday.
For AU in Saturday’s team competition, freshman Alex Morency (Argyle, NY/Argyle) was fourth in advanced horsemanship; sophomore Kelly Jo Stein (Scottsville, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) was fifth in intermediate horsemanship; and junior Nicole Mekker (Liverpool, NY/Cicero-North Syracuse) was sixth in beginner horsemanship.
In Sunday ‘s team events, Partridge will compete in open reining; Eklin in open horsemanship; and freshman Stephanie Zimicki (Lockport, NY/St. Mary’s) in novice horsemanship.
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