Friday, April 29, 2011

Equestrian Team Heads to Kentucky for Nationals

LEXINGTON, Ky. (4/29/11) - The University of Colorado equestrian team will look to dominate the competition when the Buffaloes travel to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park on May 5-8.

CU’s equestrian team has enjoyed one of their most successful seasons to date. Despite losing several key riders to graduation, the Western team still managed to have a great season. The Western team finished right behind some of the strongest teams at competitions all year long and accomplished two reserve championships. The English team was a force to be reckoned with this year. The English team quickly proved that they were the team to beat this year after they swept won all three days of competition to start the season. The English team never let up throughout the year and after several championships and reserve championships, they ultimately won their region and advanced to the Zone competition in California. 

Colorado finished second overall in the Zone competition behind Stanford University on Apr. 9-10. CU actually began the final day leading the competition, but the Stanford riders proved to be too strong. The Buffs riders at the Zone competition included Jennifer Burke, Whitney Wickes, Bonnie Pav, Hannah Clark and Arab Ginnet.

If the Buffs want to win nationals, they will need a strong performance from Burke. Burke won the most points in CU’s region, competing in the open division—the most advanced division. She also won the regional Cacchione Cup prize, guaranteeing her a spot at nationals to compete for the title of the national Cacchione Cup rider. Colorado will also need strong performances from Karly Hobbs and Jenica Northrup, who qualified for nationals after placing in the top two at zones.  

“Jen (Burke) is a strong rider and has always pulled through when the team needs her,” said team president and rider Andrea Fieger.  “I am confident she will represent CU competitively as she represents our school in the competition for the Cachionne Cup.”  

The equestrian team will be making their first ever trip to the IHSA Nationals next weekend.

“The team could not be more excited to represent CU at nationals for the first time in school’s history,” Fieger said. “We’ve all worked really hard to make this happen.”