Club Sports News

Equestrian facility expansion opens doors for riders to roam

September 16, 2016  |  Lynchburg, Va. 

Liz Chenelle, a senior captain who has recovered from an injury that sidelined her for much of last season, will ride at Goucher. test test test test
Liz Chenelle, a senior captain who has recovered from an injury that sidelined her for much of last season, will ride at Goucher.

The past year's expansion of the Liberty University Equestrian Center — from one 150- by 160-foot outdoor ring to two 300- by 120-foot rings (one indoor and one outdoor) — sets the stage for similar growth of the fledgling riding program.

Meanwhile, the Western squad, led by second-year Head Coach Lauren Eagles will visit North Carolina for a two-day show hosted by perennial Region 5 champion St. Andrews University.

"The Tournament of Champions will be our very first horse show on the national level to let our riders see what we're striving for," second-year Head Coach Jim Arrigon said. "We'll be competing against many of the best teams on the East Coast, so we'll be bringing our best rider in each division. We have lots of new people and will show big improvements this year."

April Simmonds, a freshman from Ontario, could be the Lady Flames' most decorated rider this season.

One of if not the most gifted rider the Lady Flames have ever had on the roster is freshman April Simmonds from Ontario, Canada, who narrowly missed qualifying to represent her homeland at the Pan America Games during July trials for the Canadian Olympic team, advancing to the final eight out of 100 nominees.

However, her horse crashed and rolled in the final and Simmonds fell off, eliminating her from consideration. The horse, "Preston," was injured in the accident and Simmonds is boarding him at the Equestrian Center this semester as one of several new horses housed in new stalls now open in a second barn located across the indoor riding arena from the existing one.

"He's an Olympic-caliber horse, by far the most advanced horse we've ever had here," Arrigon said.

In Baltimore, Simmonds will ride in the High Medal division and will be joined by freshman teammate Hannah Sensing, also from Ontario, in the Low Medal division; sophomore Anna Davidson in Walk Trot; freshman Bailey Boan in Walk Trot Canter; freshman Amber Gayheart in the Novice Flat and Intermediate Fences divisions; sophomore Kendall Burdette in the Intermediate Flat and Open Fences classes; senior Liz Chenelle in Open Flat; and junior Zoe Leppke in Novice Fences.

For the Hunter Seat regular season, which starts next Saturday at the University of Richmond, Liberty will be competing in a different region this year — Zone 4, Region 4 — against the host Spiders as well as Old Dominion, VCU, Mary Washington, the perennial champion, and others.

"It turned out good for us as we are in an easier region where we should be more competitive," Arrigon said. "I'm not sure if we'll be the champion, but we should finish in the top two or three."

Riders competing in the first regular points Western show of the season hosted by St. Andrews are seniors Kayla Sims and Rebecca Oldham, juniors Avonlea Kisner and Kari Hicks, sophomores Leah Ofalt and Anya Devan, freshmen Maddie Temple, Birana Bass, and Kelsey Castledine. Oldham and Devan rode for the Hunter Seat team last year while Kisner is the top returning Western rider.

 

By Ted Allen/Staff Writer

Equestrian Links
Schedule
Results
Oct 26, 3:00 PM - Ashland, VA
Equestrian at Randolph Macon College IHSA Horse Show
DAYS
HOURS
MINS
SECS
Equestrian
at Randolph Macon College IHSA Horse Show
Oct 26, 3:00 PM - Ashland, VA

Equestrian
at Randolph Macon College IHSA Horse Show
Oct 27, 3:00 PM - Ashland, VA

Equestrian
at University of Richmond IHSA Horse Show
Nov 2, 10:00 AM - Ashland, VA

Equestrian
at University of Richmond IHSA Horse Show
Nov 3, 10:00 AM - Ashland, VA

Equestrian
at Virginia Commonwealth University IHSA Horse Show
Nov 9, 10:00 AM - Mechanicsville, VA

Full Schedule

Feb 23
Equestrian
at Hunt Seat @ Regionals at Sweet Briar College
Champion WTC - Boan

Feb 17
Equestrian
at Western Show at Martin Community College
Top Finishers

Feb 17
Equestrian
vs. Hunt Seat @ University of Mary Washington
1st Place - Cooper

Feb 16
Equestrian
at Western Show at Martin Community College
Reserve High Point

Feb 16
Equestrian
vs. Hunt Seat @ University of Mary Washington
1st Place - Burdette

More Recaps

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