LAURINBURG — St. Andrews University hosted the second Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Western Team competition last weekend.
The Knights Equestrian team won the competition by 14 points over runner up N.C. State University. St. Andrews scored 105 team points to win the Region 3 Western competition over the seven other colleges that participated.
“My team rode amazing and was well prepared,” said Carla Wennberg, IHSA Western head coach. “I love the fact that my students see all their hard work has paid off.”
N.C. State took second place with 84 points followed by Liberty University with 79 team points. Virginia Tech took fourth place with 64 points followed by Martin Community College with 50, Appalachian State University with 32 and Campbell University rounded out the competitors finishing with 16 points.
St. Andrews Conner Smith was the overall winner at the competition earning the title of High Point Rider. Smith also took first place in reining which is a higher level of competition where riders are judged on sliding stops, spins, circle work and lead changes.
Kaleb Measimer took first place in beginner horsemanship which is a division for riders who are new to the sport and do not coming from a riding background but still wish to compete.
The next levels of horsemanship is Intermediate I and II, novice and then advanced. The level of difficulty associated with each increases based on the riders experience. Horsemanship is judged on the rider’s equitation and pattern work with their horse.
St. Andrews Marcos Nogueira won first place in the Intermediate I Horsemanship while teammates Keelyn Green and Katelyn Daggett took first and second place in Intermediate II Horsemanship. Maggie Martin took fifth place in that category. Hannah Newman took third place in Advanced Horsemanship.
The highest level of expertise is the Open Division, which St. Andrews also won courtesy of Annie Owen. Smith took second and teammate Phil Alden took fourth place.
The St. Andrews equestrian team will compete in five more shows this season and are vying to become three-time National Champions.