Equestrian riders qualify for regional show

Equestrian riders qualify for regional show

Ashley Moxley

Senior Megan Foard and her horse leap over the fence in one of the classes of the show. Foard, along with eight other riders, qualified for regionals next weekend.

Miranda Ripken, Sports Editor

On Friday, Jan. 27, the equestrian team competed at Oldfields School. In the Oldfields competition, JC placed second, which earns them the title “reserve champion,” just under Greenway.  This is one of the best places they have received this year and qualified them as a team for Zones. For some riders, this was their last chance to qualify before regionals which is the qualifying competition before Zones.  Zones take place on Feb. 11 at the Greenway Team’s Barn: Featherdown.

Because JC placed reserve champion at the Oldfields show, the team gained enough points to qualify for Zones. A team gains points to qualify by picking a point rider at each show per class. The JC coaches do not tell the riders who they choose as point rider in order to keep the pressure to a minimum. The points earned in each class help gain points throughout the day. At the end of the day each team tallies up the points and are placed first through last. The team with the most points wins the show. Once the team qualifies for zones, the coaches must pick a point rider who will ride for the team in each class.

“As a team we really came together and had a lot more people qualify individually as well as a team which is a great way to end my senior year,” senior and captain Kelsey Lebuhn said.

Junior Nathan Barringer took first in the over fences class, which is a series of at least six jumps testing the riders’ different abilities and third on the flat in JV novice, which tests different skills at the walk, trot, and canter. Freshman Grayce Moran placed second in the JV beginner class.

“We had a lot of new freshman on the team this year, but we all worked together and ended up qualifying for Zones,” senior Heather Scampton said.

Each rider can participate in a total of five shows in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), and there are four divisions based on skill level, where riders compete against other riders in the same division. These divisions are varsity open, varsity intermediate, JV novice, and JV beginner.

Further dividing each division are two classes: a jump phase and a flat phase. Beginners, however, have two flat phases. To qualify, the rider must earn 15 points per class. At regionals, a rider must place in the top three of his or her class to move on to the zone finals. From there, if the rider places in the top two, he or she moves on to Nationals.

The list of riders that qualified for regionals was solidified at this past show. Those who qualified for varsity open are Scampton, Lebuhn, and fellow seniors Adrienne Clarke, and Megan Foard. Freshman Erica D’Anna qualified for varsity intermediate. Barringer and junior Bridget Rodriguez both qualified for JV novice. Moran and freshman Carlie Hopkins qualified for JV beginner.

“I feel so fortunate to be in such a program. It is going to be so much fun going to zones and regionals. I can’t wait,” Rodriguez said.

Miranda Ripken is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

Additional reporting by Megan Foard.