UMC Western Equestrian Competed in Pair of Shows at UWRF Last Weekend
RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The University of Minnesota Crookston western equestrian team competed last weekend at a pair of shows at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
“The Western team has a young roster this year,” said Head Coach Kayla Krueger. “We have faced our share of challenges and mistakes made throughout the season, but I could not have been happier with our team after this weekend’s competition. Freshman and Sophomores have stepped up to the plate and have found their level of confidence within the show pen. It is exactly what I would hope for with a young team.”
Cathy Ackroyd (Sr., Spirit Lake, Iowa) started out Saturday’s competition with a solid Reining ride to finish third out of 12 competitive riders. Even with a few hiccups within her pattern, Ackroyd was able to make up strongly in other aspects. Katie Warner (Jr., Warba, Minn.) put together a beautiful ride on a challenging horse in Advanced Horsemanship to finish first and point up into the Open ranks. Katelynn Robertson (So., Roseau, Minn.) is on fire this year for the Golden Eagles. She pulled out yet another win in her section of Novice Horsemanship allowing her to point up into Advanced Horsemanship. Anna Johnson (So., Sebeka, Minn.) pulled a solid fourth-place finish in her section of Novice. Hannah Van Dyke (Sr., Edgerton, Minn.) also had a very successful ride finishing second in her Novice class.
Freshman Shayla Marthaler (Fr., Osakis, Minn.) would finish fourth in her class of Intermediate Horsemanship. EmmaRae Nelson (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) rode to a solid third-place finish in her class of Intermediate. Sarah Zellmer (Fr., Mahtomedi, Minn.) would find her stride within the show ring to pull a solid second-place finish in her class of Intermediate Horsemanship. Whitney Weidenborner (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) also rode to solid second-place finish in her class of Intermediate. Skyla Knudtson (So., Blooming Prairie, Minn.) put together a beautiful ride to win her class of Intermediate. Lastly, Megan Doughty (Fr., Hackensack, Minn.), whom usually rides Walk Trot for the Hunt Seat team, joined the Western squad for the weekend to fill the spot of an injured ride. Doughty would ride to a solid third-place finish.
On Sunday, Ackroyd would open it up by finishing fifth out of 12 riders in the Reining and third in Open Horsemanship. Warner represented UMC in the Open Horsemanship division for the first time this season after pointing out of Advanced the day before. She rode flawlessly to a second-place finish among seasoned Open riders. Robertson was faced with a tough draw in her class and finished fourth in her first time out in Advanced Horsemanship. Van Dyke continued on her streak of success finishing with yet another second place in her section of Intermediate.
After a challenging first day, freshman Madeline Drayna (Fr., Milaca, Minn.) was out to redeem herself and that she did. Drayna finished a well-earned second in her class of Intermediate. Zellmer also was on fire as she finished second in her class of Intermediate. Weidenborner followed right behind with a second-place finish in her section of Intermediate Horsemanship. Doughty would wrap things up by placing fourth in a competitive class of Walk Trot.
“Everyone has a rebuilding year and this was definitely our year,” Krueger said. “The future is bright for the Golden Eagles and I am excited to see what the spring semester, as well as the years to come will have in store for these riders.”
The Golden Eagles return to action with a NCEA competition Feb. 20 at South Dakota State University. They will return to IHSA action with a home show Feb. 18 at UTOC.