Equestrian students enjoy success at shows
Senior Hannah Sette and MeMe took first place in the Roadster Pony to Bike Open this past weekend at the Missouri Kick-Off/Bridlespur Horse Show in St. Louis, but it was her third place win in the American Saddlebred 5-Gaited Amateur class that make the crowds go wild.
For that class, Hannah, a senior, was on Arrowhead’s Dreamcatcher, a Saddlebred with a successful show career that hadn’t competed in a year.
“It was fun because Hannah was with Dreamer, a world champion that’s been out of the loop for a while, so people all over the ring were cheering Hannah on,” Assistant Professor Ellen Beard said. “It was really neat.”
And Hannah’s gaits were “top notch,” she said, adding: “We beat ourselves.”
Hannah is quick to credit Dreamer, a horse she's been working with for just a few months.
“We’re lucky to have him at school,” she said. “He’s a big, powerful horse with a great personality and is a blast to show. He definitely rose to the occasion and performed great.”
All of Stephens’ equestrian students have been enjoying great performances this month. At the Missouri Kick-Off/Bridlespur show, Lauren Fitzpatrick also took a first place win in the Horse Under Saddle class riding Leroy, also known as Calamar Man. Lauren snagged a second place in the American SaddlebredShow Pleasure Novice Horse/Rider, a “very competitive class,” Beard said.
Among Senior Elsie Vieira’s awards from the show was a third place in the American Saddlebred Park Pleasure Amateur class.
“Elsie had a great ride on Star,” Beard said. “She turned her class around. It was impressive.”
Earlier this month, the hunter/jumper rides had great success at the National Equestrian Center in St. Louis, too.
Alex Hagelston won both of the Adult Amateur Jumper classes at the National Equestrian Center at Lake St. Louis.There, Haley Upton also received a first in the Beginner Rider Hunter Division, and Hannah Dritt, Mallory Patton and Megan Hasemann all received second place awards.
“I could not be more proud of the teamwork that these women demonstrated,” Instructor Sara Linde Patel said.
Stephens students return to St. Louis this coming weekend to compete in Western classes.Although the accolades are nice, Beard stressed that students are mainly benefiting from the experience of competing against industry professionals.
“They’re working in the trenches with professionals who really have taken the girls under their wings,” she said.
And they also learn from each other, Hannah said.
“Each one of us, we all work as a team to support each other and help one another,” she said. “We have a passion for horses and a passion for learning, and we all have the same goal in mind – to have a good time and represent Stephens well.”