Equestrian team embraces strong season

The 2011 fall season for the Seton Hill University equestrian team has proved successful, leaving them in second place behind West Virginia University (WVU).

They concluded with 130 points, closely trailing WVU with 146. They hope to place as the Reserve High Point Team or Region 5 High Point for the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. There are 13 teams total in the region.

Left in the 2011 schedule are three more competitions. The Region 5 Finals at WVU on March 18 hopes to feature some members of the equestrian team. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see four or five of our girls qualify this year,” said junior Alexandra Kemp-Thompson.

Last season, the equestrian team finished in third place with a total of seven girls qualifying. They were behind second place by only a few points.

Leading the Walk/Trot class is junior Molly Follmer, with potential qualifiers not far behind for the spring season. The season begins March 3 with a show at Ohio University hosted by SHU.

Kemp-Thompson is also having a successful season with only five points between her and qualifying for regionals in the Open Over Fences and a mere four points away from Open Under Saddle.

She also is currently leading the Cacchione Cup standing in the region. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the spring season is successful and I hold my position,” said Kemp-Thompson.

The equestrian team’s most recent competition took place at Ohio University (OU). Freshmen Elaina Moorehead and Julianna Cafferey both finished in first place for their respective categories. Coming in second place in other groups were senior Marissa McIsaac, juniors Follmer and Kemp-Thompson, sophomore Lauren Sitler and freshman Lauren DeCarli.

On top of the team’s success, the camaraderie has greatly improved. “We’re much more of a team now because we’re all so close,” said junior Taylor Jansen. “We’re all getting to be really good friends, helping to boost our morals.”

The equestrian team’s strong season has not only served as good publicity for the team and school, but has boosted the rider’s confidence according to Jansen.

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