Club Sports News

Chenelle first rider to represent Liberty at IHSA Nationals

May 4, 2017  |  Lexington, Ky. 

Lady Flames senior Hunt Seat captain Elizabeth Chenelle is one of 41 Cacchione Cup regional qualifiers. (Photo by Kaitlyn Becker Johnson) test test test test
Lady Flames senior Hunt Seat captain Elizabeth Chenelle is one of 41 Cacchione Cup regional qualifiers. (Photo by Kaitlyn Becker Johnson)

Senior Hunt Seat team captain Elizabeth Chenelle will become Liberty University's first equestrian rider ever to compete at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships in Lexington, Ky., on Friday as one of 41 Cacchione Cup winners, the high-point open riders from their respective regions around the United States.

She won't be the only Liberty representative at the prestigious event, however, as three of the program's horses were among the 90 invited out of hundreds nominated for the honor of being ridden in the national championships. After two days of audition rides, Liberty horses Uccello and Cardina were two of 60 selected to be used while Honey Badger did not make the cut.

Uccello and Honey Badger, appraised at $225,000 combined, were both donated to Liberty by the Kowalchik family of Cincinnati, Ohio. They were formerly ridden by three Kowalchik daughters who Liberty Head Coach Jim Arrigon instructed at Beckett Run Farm in Ohio before he started as executive director of the Liberty Equestrian Center in 2015.

Coincidentally, the daughter who formerly owned Uccello, Mollie Kowalchik, will be competing at nationals for Mount Holyoke (Mass.) University.

"It is possible she could ride her horse as it will be entered in her same class," Arrigon said.

Cardina was given to Liberty by Lynne LaGuardia of Connecticut.

On Thursday's opening day of IHSA nationals, Liberty junior Hunt Seat rider Emily Chafins was selected as the recipient of the IHSA Emily Hilscher Memorial Scholarship, named for the Virginia Tech equestrian rider who was the first victim of the April 16, 2007 mass shooting on the Blacksburg, Va., campus. It was the second consecutive year that a member of Liberty's equestrian team received the scholarship after Western team rider Micah Armbrust ('16) was awarded it last year.

Liberty senior captain Cassandra Steptoe was also recognized on the IHSA Senior Athletic Academic Achievement Award team a day after being named the Academic Athlete of the Year at Wednesday night's Liberty Club Sports Choice Awards ceremony.

Steptoe was a second-year first-team Academic All-American and was joined by teammates Chafins and sophomores Ellen Lipford and Hannah Peterson, who also made the first team for the second straight year, as well as freshman honorees Kaitlin Donnelly and Charles Fernandez, who represented Guatemala in the modern pentathlon at last summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

Lady Flames second-team Academic All-American representatives were second-year honorees junior Zo? Leppke, sophomore Leah Ofalt, and senior Becca Oldham and first-year sophomore Kendall Burdette and freshmen Alex Davies, Mallory Zodda, and Nate Burke.

Equestrian Links
Schedule
Results
Feb 22, 9:00 AM - Martin Community College
at
Equestrian
Western
DAYS
HOURS
MINS
SECS
Equestrian
at Western
Feb 22, 9:00 AM - Martin Community College

Equestrian
at IHSA Zone 4 Region 4 Finals Horse Show at UMW
Feb 22, 10:00 AM - Fredericksburg, VA

Equestrian
at Western Regionals
Feb 23, 9:00 AM - Martin Community College

Equestrian
at Western Semi Finals
Mar 21, 9:00 AM - Martin Community College

Equestrian
at Hunt Seat Zones
Apr 4, 9:00 AM - St. Andrews University

Full Schedule

Feb 15
Equestrian
at University of Mary Washington IHSA Horse Show
3rd Place Finish

Feb 15
Equestrian
at Martin Community College/North Carolina State Univ
Tie for 4th

Feb 9
Equestrian
at Sweet Briar College IHSA Horse Show
1st place finish

Feb 8
Equestrian
vs. Hunt Seat
3rd Place Finish

Feb 1
Equestrian
at Western
3rd place finish

More Recaps

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