NDSU riders advance to national competition

Farm Forum

North Dakota State University’s Western equestrian team had a strong finish in semifinal competition in March.

Teams are assigned randomly to one of three semifinals.

Ten members of NDSU’s team took part in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association semifinal competition on March 23-24 in Morehead, Ky. Each individual class in that competition had 18 competitors. The top four in each class advance to national competition.

NDSU team members who placed while competing in individual classes were:

· Emily Norwig, a sophomore from Hampton, Minn., third in intermediate horsemanship

· Megan Hansen, a junior from Breckenridge, Minn., fourth in advanced horsemanship

· Karley Schaefer, a freshman from West Fargo, fourth in intermediate horsemanship

· Cami Slaubaugh, a sophomore from Wolford, fifth in beginner horsemanship

Norwig, Hansen and Schaefer qualified to compete at nationals May 2-5 in Harrisburg, Pa.

The riders who competed in the semifinals qualified individually by placing in the top two in regional competition at the University of Minnesota-Crookston on March 2-3.

NDSU’s riders also competed at semifinals in the team competition. The team with the most cumulative points in each zone and region earns the opportunity to compete as a team at semifinals. The NDSU team was named Zone 7 Region 3 high-point team in regional competition.

Team members representing NDSU were: Hannah Beyer, a senior from Rapid City, S.D., reining; Ashley Lindell, a senior from Solway, Minn., open horsemanship; Emily Kedrowski, a junior from Apple Valley, Minn., advanced horsemanship; Codie Miller, a senior from Prior Lake, Minn., novice horsemanship; Nicole Holasek, a junior from Waconia, Minn., intermediate horsemanship; and Hailey Aagard, a sophomore from Wadena, Minn., beginner horsemanship.

Nine teams competed in the semifinals. The top three advance to national competition. Points from each rider’s placings are added together for an overall team score.

NDSU’s team finished in fourth place just two points behind the third-place team. The riders’ placings were:

· Lindell – second

· Holasek – second

· Beyer – fourth

· Aagard – fifth

· Kedrowski – sixth

· Miller – seventh

“The team did an exceptional job at semifinals,” says Tara Swanson, the team’s coach. “They practiced hard and showed tremendous dedication to the team, which paid off in strong finishes. We are excited to head to nationals in May.”