The championship qualifies St. Andrews for the Semi Finals in Kentucky on March 20-22. St. Andrews will compete against six other teams from across the country for a berth in April’s national championship.
St. Andrews won one of the three national Semi Finals a year ago.
Led by current IHSA National Open Horsemanship Champion rider Kelsey Moody, a sophomore psychology major from Woodstock, Ga., the team accumulated 235 points during the regular season, 29 points ahead of the next closest regional team.
“Again, I have an amazing group of riders,” said Carla Wennberg, head western coach. “They work very hard and stay focused. We have stayed true to our goals.
“I am very lucky as a coach to have the dedication. We never want to forget, my director. Peggy McElveen is the best at strategy too! It takes everyone to make this happen! Thank you to all involved.”
A St. Andrews rider won every class at Sunday’s regional finals.
Eight riders qualified to compete as individuals in nine classes at the Semi Finals:
Moody in open horsemanship and in reining.
Kody Zaagman, a freshman from Prophetstown, Ill., in open horsemanship.
Erica Hill, a sophomore Equine Business Management major from Laurinburg in advanced horsemanship.
Kayla Hay, a junior Equine Business Management major from Hanover, Ind., in novice horsemanship.
Tony Fernandez, a junior from Hollywood, Fla., in novice horsemanship.
Chella Glennon, a junior therapeutic horsemanship major from Roanoke, Va., in intermediate horsemanship.
Jessica Gesel, a senior biology major from Locust, in beginner horsemanship.
John Coppola, a senior forensic science major from Bloomingdale, N.Y., in beginner horsemanship.
St. Andrews – High Point Team – 36 points
Virginia Tech – Reserve High Point Team – 34 points
Alison Jones, Virginia Tech – High Point Rider
Brooke, Mercier, Western Carolina – Reserve High Point Rider
St. Andrews Riders
Leah Davison – first place – beginner horsemanship
Jessica Gesel – second place – intermediate I horsemanship
John Coppollo – third place – intermediate I horsemanship
Alison Wrightenberry – first place – intermediate II horsemanship
Kayla Hay – first place – novice horsemanship
Tony Fernandez – first place – advanced horsemanship
Anne Neal Thompson – first place – advanced horsemanship
Jessica Cutler – first place – open horsemanship
Kody Zaagman – first place – open horsemanship
Kelsey Moody – second place – open horsemanship
Erica Hill – first place – reining
Kelsey Moody – second place – reining