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MTSU Hosts IHSA Western Regional Championships


Article & photos by LaCresha Kolba

MTSU hosted the Western Regional Championships for Zone 5, Region 1on February 21, 2016 at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, TN.  The IHSA Zone 5, Region 1 Western teams consisted of: Middle Tennessee State University, Murray State University, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Tennessee Tech University. Judge for the show was Carla Wennberg from Laurinburg, NC. Show Stewards were Anne Brzezicki, Becky Huddleston, Charles Anderson, Carol Hodge and Sue Robinson.

MTSU had 25 students competiting this weekend on their Western IHSA Team.  Those who placed well this weekend will go on to compete at the Semi Finals and from there will go on to Nationals.  IHSA Nationals will be a weeklong event held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

The High Point Riders were: Champion: Lauren King from MTSU, Reserve Champion: Allie Woodall from UTK. Third: Leah Piper from MTSU; fourth: Kevyn Cunningham from MSU; fifth: Delaney Rostad of MTSU; sixth: Alex Britt, UTK. 
MTSU Coach, Anne Brzezicki spoke of how she has such a nice blend of riders on both her Hunt Seat and Western teams.  She said she encourages, but never forces a student to try the other discipline of riding.  She finds it balances and rounds out the rider who is open to trying Western after competing in English for most of their career, and vice versa. Going from an English saddle to a Western saddle, the students are taught to sit and get organized.  Anne said, “When they are open to trying the other discipline, they expect it to be different, they expect that change, and it really widens their ability as an equestrian.”  It is obvious Anne is very knowledgeable about both disciplines by how well MTSU placed in the shows. In MTSU was the Zone 5, Region 1 Champion in the Western division, and the Champion and High Point Rider was MTSU rider Lauren King.

PLACINGS for Feb 21, 2016 show
Open Reining; 1st – Leah Piper, MTSU; 2nd – Lauren King, MTSU
Alumni Reining; 1st – Kimberly King, UTK; 2nd – Ariel Herrin, MTSU
Open Horsemanship – 1st – Allie Woodall, UTK; 2nd – Lauren King, MTSU, Kevyn Cunningham, MSU
Intermediate – 1st – Lori Grimes, MTSU, 2nd – Samantha Peterson, MSU, 3rd – Laura Ganvik, MSU, 4th – Briana Keyes, MSU
Advanced Horsemanship – 1st – Delaney Rostad, MTSU; 2nd – Emily Watson, MSU
Novice Horsemanship – 1st – Laura Otey; 2nd – Brook Smith, MSU, 3rd – Morgan Clements, MSU
Beginner Horsemanship – 1st – Ashely Wheeler, TTU; 2nd – Katlyn Sanders, WKU, 3rd – Brandi Ballard MSU

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