4/18/2008 - Equestrians finish season with New York semi-finals
By Jennifer J. Hoggle
Itís not often that college students in Alabama are invited to compete in a horse show in upstate New York, but thatís what Judson College equestrian team members Joy Coppock of Lowndesboro, Christa Fransen of Kingman, Ariz. and Lauren Stephens of Mountain Brook experienced.
These students, along with equine coach Jennifer Hoggle, flew to Syracuse, New York for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Western Semi-Finals hosted by Cazenovia College on March 30-31.
Competitors included students from Alfred University, Ball State, Berry College, Bethany College, Bloomsburg University, California State Polytechnic University, California University of Pennsylvania, Cazenovia College, College of Wooster, Judson College, Kutztown University, Lake Erie College, Ohio State, Oswego State, Perdue University, St. Mary of-the-Woods College, Susquehanna University, Syracuse University, University of California Ė San Diego, University of Akron and West Virginia University.
Only two teams out of the entire IHSA Zone 5, Region 2 had riders represented at this show--Berry College and Judson College.
Light snow fell as the Judson group landed in New York and began their 25 mile drive to Cazenovia for the "meet and greet" session and a preview of the horses.
Since competitors donít bring their own horse to IHSA competitions, horses were provided by some of the above teams as well as some nearby individual farms. IHSA competitors draw for horses, much like rodeo rough- stock riders do. There is no time for warm-up or schooling--exhibitors compete on unfamiliar horses in unfamiliar arenas.
The Cazenovia show was one of three Western Semi-Finals held in the country. Exhibitors must place between first and fourth in order to qualify for the California IHSA National Show in May. Placings were called for the top eight riders in each class.
Fransen, a freshman team member, competed in the Individual Open Western Horsemanship Class and placed fifth of ten qualified riders. Coppock, a sophomore team member, competed in the Individual Open Reining and placed sixth of ten qualified riders.
"I'm proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an elite group of competitors," Hoggle said. "The 2007-2008 IHSA team has been very successful and has been a pleasure to work with."
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.