Minnesota Crookston Western Equestrian Earns High Point Team Saturday and Reserve High Point Team Friday



FARGO, N.D. – The University of Minnesota Crookston earned High Point Team Saturday at North Dakota State University, and earned Reserve High Point Team during Friday’s show. The Golden Eagles were led by Whitney Fenna (Sr., Foley, Minn.), who earned High Point rider accolades on Sunday. Madeline Drayna (Sr., Milaca, Minn.) was named Reserve High Point Rider both Friday and Saturday.

After this weekend’s shows at NDSU, the Golden Eagles sit second in the region trailing the Bison by just eight points overall.

The Golden Eagles opened up the weekend Friday as Drayna took first, and Fenna finished sixth in the Reining. In Open Horsemanship, Fenna took third, while Fenna placed in fourth.

Olivia Becker put together a strong ride in Level II Horsemanship to take second on Friday, while Alyssa Evavold (Jr., Battle Lake, Minn.) took third, and Jordyn Newberg (Jr., Deer River, Minn.) fifth. In Level I Horsemanship, Beatrice Streifel (So., Hawley, Minn.) and April Klecker (So., Amboy, Minn.) each placed fourth, while Ashton Wold (Fr., Devils Lake, N.D.) took sixth.

In Rookie B Horsemanship Friday, Rebecca Clark (Fr., Austin, Minn.) put together a strong ride to place second. Fahren Kolpack (Fr., Ontonagon, Mich.) took third in Rookie B Horsemanship, while Tristyn Hoechst (So., Winnebago, Minn.) finished fourth, qualifying for regionals.

In Beginner Horsemanship, Savanna Weber (So., Silver Lake, Minn.) paced the Golden Eagles with a first-place finish, while also qualifying for regionals. In addition, Faith Kowalke (Fr., Sartell, Minn.) and Grace Meyers (Fr., Faribault, Minn.) each took fourth.

“Overall it was a challenging day for our horsemanship riders,” said Head Coach Kyla Hanson. ‘We had a few bumps in the road trying to settle into a new arena, as well as new horses for our first-year riders. With day one under our belts, we were ready to approach day two with confidence.”

The Golden Eagles opened up Saturday, as Drayna finished fourth in the Reining. Drayna built on a solid day Friday, by taking first in Open Horsemanship in order to earn Reserve High Point Rider for the second-straight day.

In Level II Horsemanship, Minnesota Crookston had a strong showing overall with Evavold and Newberg each earning second on their rides. Becker and Whitney Weidenborner (Sr., Bemidji, Minn.) each claimed third, while Rae Ann Michel finished fifth.

Minnesota Crookston dominated in Level I Horsemanship Saturday with Hoechst putting together a great ride to finish first, followed right behind by Wold in second, Klecker in third, and Streifel in fourth.

In Rookie B Horsemanship, Clark continued a strong start to her freshman season by taking first, followed by Kolpack in second.

In Rookie A Horsemanship, Weber took third for the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston rounded out the show with Meyers earning a first-place finish.

“Our rider exhibited much more confidence going into day two and it certainly showed in the arena.”

The Golden Eagles looked to build off Saturday as they got off to a great start with Fenna earning back-to-back first-place finishes in the Reining and Open Horsemanship. Her performance earned her High Point Rider honors as she found her rhythm with two stellar rides.

Drayna added a third-place finish in Open Horsemanship for Minnesota Crookston.

In Level II Horsemanship, Becker and Newberg each finished second, followed by Weidenborner and Michel in fifth, and Evavold in sixth.

The Golden Eagles found great success in Level I Horsemanship with Klecker and Wold each having strong rides to earn first-place finishes. Streifel had a solid third-place finish, while Hoechst took fifth.

In Rookie B Horsemanship Sunday, Clark took fifth, and Kolpack sixth. In Beginner, Meyers led Minnesota Crookston by taking second, while Kowalke placed sixth.

“The point card did not fall in our favor, however riders continued to excel in their divisions with many class wins and high placings,” Hanson said. “Overall I am very happy with how the team performed.”

The Golden Eagles return to action Dec. 7 and 8 at Wisconsin-River Falls in River Falls, Wis.