St. Andrews University takes the AQHA Western Team Championship.
The final day at the 2017 IHSA Nationals crowned the AQHA High Point Rider and Teams.
May 7, 2017
The team competition resumed on Sunday with Team Advanced, Intermediate and Open Horsemanship classes. With several teams within several points of each other, each event proved to be critical in the overall standings.
The Team Intermediate Horsemanship win went to Berry College’s Allie Robertson. The sophomore Animal Sciences major was making her second appearance at Nationals and clinched her first win.
“I was planning on just going out and riding for myself and I did it. It was amazing” said the elated champion of her winning run.
Next in the ring, the Advanced Horsemanship riders fought for team points. Black Hawk College’s Haley McWhorter edged out St. Andrew’s Jarret Vaughn for the win. McWhorter graduates this month and celebrated her final year with a National Championship title.
The riders in the team Open Horsemanship went into the class knowing the fate rested on their shoulders. Black Hawk College and St. Andrews University were separated by merely a point and the National Title was still anyone’s game.
Mark Mowbray clinched the Team Championship for St. Andrews University with the win in the Open Horsemanship on Trigger with Black Hawk College’s Kinsey Ayres taking the reserve title.
“Amazing. I don’t know another word to describe this experience. It has just been the best show I have ever had and I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and team”.
St. Andrews University is coached by AQHA Professional Horsewoman Carla Wennberg and Assistant Coach Lindsey Trockenbrot. They tied with Berry College for the Team Championship in 2016 and were elated to be able to defend their National title in 2017.
The AQHA High Point Rider competition kicked off Sunday morning with the reining portion. Brittney Abernathy emerged as an early leader after the first half of the competition on Saturday and held onto her lead to take the overall title.
The Sophomore Agriculture Business major from Northeastern Oklahoma University is a first time competitor at Nationals and made the trip one to remember. After not making it to Nationals last year after a mishap at the Western Semis, Abernathy said she had a fire to come back again this year.
“What a journey. I had a mishap last year but I figured it out and worked hard. We have practices at seven each morning and workouts at five and pushed ourselves to be our best and I couldn’t do it without the team or coaches behind me”.
Abernathy is representing her University’s new IHSA program and has become an ambassador for her sport and school. She is the first IHSA National Champion from Northeastern Oklahoma University.
“I don’t have words for this win. It’s indescribable and I am very happy and can’t see where the future takes me”.