SMWC Equestrian Western Team Heads to National Semi-Finals

March 22nd, 2013 | SMWC

By Jovan Jeftich

The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) Equestrian Western Team travels to Syracuse, New York to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Western Semi-Finals.  The weekend show will take place at the New York State Fairgrounds on March 23-24, 2013

The team had a very successful season this year.  They led the region for the entire season and their success has been fueled by the physical fitness of the riders. 

“I also feel this improvement had led to their self-confidence which is evident in the show pen,” said head western coach Sara Schultz.  “Between the intense workouts and team practices, we have formed a really cohesive group of young women,” said Schultz. 

At the 2012 semi-finals, the team finished in 6th place.  The goal this year is to finish in the top three to qualify for nationals.  “It is hard to guess as to how we will do as there are so many variables,” said Shultz. “Riders basically draw the horse they are going to ride "out of a hat" with no warm up time so they have to get to know the horse quickly. The health of our riders is also key. Last year, we had a sick team.  If all is well, I feel confident that we could qualify for nationals. They have the determination to do it.”

Additionally, SMWC individual riders qualified for the semi-finals. Those individual qualifiers are:

Tierra Chaney, Marshall, Ind., (Intermediate)

Shelby Harber, Wabash, Ind., (Walk Trot)

Ali Mahloch, Plymouth, Wisc., (Open Rail)    

Sara New, Filmore, Ind., (Novice)

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