Golden Eagles Earn High Point Team Saturday; Send Two Riders to IHSA Semifinals after Sunday

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UMC Golden Eagles Head Coah Kayla Krueger

Golden Eagles Earn High Point Team Saturday; Send Two Riders to IHSA Semifinals after Sunday

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston western equestrian team had a pair of nice showings at their home arena Sat., Feb. 18 and Sun., Feb. 19. The Golden Eagles took home High Point Team honors after an impressive day in the show pen Saturday. On Sunday, UMC hosted the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Regionals. The Golden Eagles had two riders, Cathy Ackroyd (Sr., Spirit Lake, Iowa) and Madeline Drayna (Fr., Milaca, Minn.) advance to the IHSA Western Semifinals March 25-26 at the Showplex at Hamburg Fairgrounds in Hamburg, N.Y. The show will be hosted by State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY-Oswego).

On Saturday, Ackroyd started things out on a strong note for Minnesota Crookston as she placed third in the Reining and first in her section of Open Horsemanship. Hannah Van Dyke (Sr., Edgerton, Minn.) had a beautiful ride on the day as she finished first in her section of Advanced Horsemanship. Katelynn Robertson (So., Roseau, Minn.) was faced with a tough draw but finished strong with a second-place finish in her section of Advanced Horsemanship. Drayna,  Anna Johnson (So., Sebeka, Minn.) and EmmaRae Nelson (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) all held their own in each of their sections of Novice Horsemanship. Nelson had a flawless ride to win her section, Drayna finished second and Johnson fourth.

Intermediate riders Whitney Weidenborner (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) and Shayla Marthaler (Fr., Osakis, Minn.) also had very successful rides in each of their sections. Weidenborner finished first and Marthaler third. Jayde Proffitt (Fr., Winsted, Minn.) rounded out the day with a well-deserved first place finish in a large class of Beginner Horsemanship riders.

“I could not have been happier with my team’s performance during Saturday’s show,” said Head Coach Kayla Krueger. “UMC was a force to reckon with in dominating our home arena. Next year is looking extremely promising for this young team of equestrians. Their talent is starting to blossom with each of them peaking at just the right time.

Minnesota Crookston would have six riders qualify for IHSA Regionals as the Golden Eagles had a very successful showing. Ackroyd qualified in both the Reining and Open Horsemanship. She just missed the semifinal qualification point in the Reining as she placed third. However, she dominated in Open Horsemanship to win her class. She will move on to the IHSA Semifinals to compete in Open Horsemanship. Skyla Knudtson (So., Blooming Prairie, Minn.) also just missed the semifinal qualification as she placed a well-rode third in Beginner Horsemanship. Van Dyke and Robertson both made the finals in Novice Horsemanship. Van Dyke would finish sixth and Robertson third. Intermediate qualifiers, Johnson, Drayna and Nelson all made the final round in a very large and competitive three sections of Intermediate Horsemanship. Johnson finished fifth and Drayna second. Drayna will also move on to the IHSA Seminals in Hamburg, N.Y. March 25-26.