Minnesota Crookston Hunt Seat Equestrian Wins IHSA Regional Championship for Second-Straight Season

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CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston hunt seat equestrian team claimed their second-straight IHSA Regional Championship, as they will advance as a team to the IHSA Zone 7 Championships  at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. Sat., April 4 at Sun., April 5 at 9 a.m. both days.

The Golden Eagles ended the regular season by claiming a High Point Team title during Friday’s show. In addition to the team, Kayley Melton (So., Yuma, Ariz.) claimed the Cacchione Cup for the region and will represent the team at the Zone Championships. The Cacchione Cup is awarded to the top Open Flat and Open Fences rider. Melton is the first to claim the Cacchione Cup since Emily Steeley won the prize in 2015.

Minnesota Crookston will also be represented at Zones individually by Rachel Johnson (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) and Melton in Open Fences. Taylor Barlage (So., New Prague, Minn.) in Limit Fences. Melton and Johnson in Open Flat. Morgan Schelske (So., Zimmerman, Minn.) in Intermediate Flat. Kristina Schroeder (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) in Limit Flat, and Anna Woidyla (So., Swanville, Minn.) in Walk/Trot/Canter.

Friday’s show began with Johnson and Melton putting together solid rides in Open Fences. Johnson took second, while Melton placed third. In Intermediate Fences, Schelske put together a strong showing to place second, while Barlage was right behind in third. In Limit Fences, Katherine Buttolph (So., Yankton, S.D>) and Schroeder each placed second in their sections of Limit Fences, while Amanda Olson placed third.

In Open Flat, Johnson paced Minnesota Crookston by placing second. Schelske and Melton took third in their sections. In Intermediate Flat, Schroeder took fifth for the Golden Eagles.

In Limit Flat, Buttolph had a strong ride to finish first in her section. Avery Dobrzelecki  (Fr., Bismarck, N.D.) finished third, as did Barlage. Katie Orth (So., Randall, Minn.) finished fourth in Limit Flat, while Olson and Sarah Cartier (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.) each placed sixth.

In Novice Flat, Minnnesota Crookston was propelled by a great ride by Abigail Risovi (Fr., White Bear Township, Minn.), who took first.

In Pre-Novice Flat, the Golden Eagles looked to Sophie Shoemaker (Fr., Rosemount, Minn.) and Rebecca Eicchorn (West Bend, Wis.) with second-place nods, while Woidyla took fourth.

In Introductory Flat, Savea Zimmerman-Cameron (Fr., Little Falls, Minn.) placed third for the Golden Eagles.

On Saturday, Minnesota Crookston had a challenging start, as Wisconsin-River Falls made up a lot of ground in the points race in the region. However, Minnesota Crookston rallied with multiple class wins, dominating the flat rounds and riding like champions. The Golden Eagles held on to win the Regional Championship by four points to advance to the IHSA Zones as a team for the second-straight season.

The Golden Eagles started out strong in Open Fences on Saturday, as Melton earned a first-place ribbon. Johnson took fourth in Open Fences, while Schelske claimed sixth.

In Intermediate Fences, Barlage finished sixth for the Golden Eagles. In Limit Fences, Buttolph paced Minnesota Crookston with a third-place finish. Olson and Schroeder each took sixth in their sections of Limit Fences.

Minnesota Crookston together great flat rides on the day. Johnson had her best flat ride of the year in a deep class, earning a first-place ribbon. Melton finished third, while Schelske finished in fourth.

In Intermediate Flat, Schroeder put together one of her very best flat goes to claim first. Barlage was close behind in third place.

In Limit Flat, Dobrzelecki, Buttolph, and Orth each had great rides to place first in their sections. Johnson finished second, as did Cartier as Minnesota Crookston dominated all four sections of Limit Flat.

In Novice Flat, Eicchorn placed second, while Risovi placed sixth.

In Pre-Novice Flat, Woidyla had a great ride to place first, while Shoemaker took second. In Introductory Flat, Zimmerman-Cameron rounded out the day by taking first with a strong ride.

The Golden Eagles rounded out the day with a great showing at the IHSA Regional Championships at the University Teaching Outreach Center.

Johnson started out the day by placing first in Open Fences, while Melton took second, as both advance to IHSA Zones as individuals, as well as with the team. Melton took first in Open Flat, while Johnson placed second, to continue a strong day. Melton’s performance helped her become the region’s High Point Cacchione Cup Rider.

In Intermediate Fences, Schelske had a strong showing to place third. Barlage finished second in Limit Fences to advance to IHSA Zones.

In Intermediate Flat, Schelske had a strong ride to placed second in Intermediate Flat to advance to IHSA Zones as an individual. In Limit Flat, Schroeder led the way by taking second to advance to zones as an individual. Barlage placed fourth, while Cartier took fifth.

In Walk/Trot, Woidyla had a great ride to place second and advance to IHSA Zones as an individual. Olson finished fourth in Walk/Trot/Canter, while Orth just missed placings.

Minnesota Crookston will look to continue their season with a strong performance at IHSA Zones April 4 and 5 in Canyon, Texas.