Freshmen Adrianne Schaunaman placed sixth, and Amber Graber was eighth in the novice horsemanship class March 17-18 at the IHSA Western Semi-Finals Horse Show in Galva, Ill. Also competing was sophomore Brittany Grabast, who rode in beginner horsemanship.
"These ladies had been working hard in the last month to prepare for this competition," said Head Coach Shanda Mattix. "And it paid off. We're really proud of their performances!"
Every student riding in the semifinals qualified by earning champion or reserve champion in their respective region. At the Zone 8 Region 5 Championships in February, Schaunaman was champion and Graber was reserve champion in novice horsemanship. Grabast earned reserve champion in beginner horsemanship.
In addition to familiar colleges from Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming, the semifinals included riders from community colleges and universities from 10 other states.
"One-third of the country was at this location," Mattix said. "It's tough competition at this level as we're riding against the best upperclassmen in the country."
The strong finish to the western season brings optimism for the future.
"Amber and Adrianne are both freshman riders," Mattix concluded. "So I expect to see a lot from them next year too."
The team is also nearing the end of the hunt seat season. Next is Saturday's zone championships in Palo Alto, Calif.