Equestrian Hunt Seat team Region 4 winners in Williamsburg
November 18, 2017 | Williamsburg, Va.
Liberty University's Hunt Seat equestrian team leaped to top honors at Saturday's final show of the Fall semester, hosted by the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
Sophomore Amber Gayheart earned High Point Rider honors by winning both her Open Fences section and her Novice Flat class competition on the day.
|Sophomore Amber Gayheart poses with her High Point Rider ribbon.|
"She was fantastic," Liberty Head Coach Suzanne Flaig said. "She really rose to the occasion."
The Lady Flames accumulated 38 points to finish ahead of runner-up Christopher Newport (34 points), Randolph-Macon College (33), Richmond (29), William & Mary (27), Sweet Briar (25), and Mary Washington (20). Liberty moved within one point of frontrunner Randolph-Macon (167) in the season standings with 166 points, ahead of Sweet Briar (162), Mary Washington (154), and CNU (126).
"Scores have been all over the board this season, so it was a good showing to have going into the break," Flaig said. "It's going to come down to the wire in the team competition and we're looking forward to seeing how many individuals we can qualify for regionals as well."
Liberty junior Kendall Burdette finished first in her section of Open Fences in Saturday's show before adding a third-place finish in Open Flat. Junior Isabella Cruz captured second place in both Intermediate Flat and Novice Fences, freshman Brooke Boan and senior Claire Gill placed first in their respective sections of Walk-Trot-Canter and sophomore Sarah Reece placed third in her Walk-Trot section.
Junior Hannah Sensing rode to a third-place showing in Intermediate Fences and senior Hannah Petersen placed third in Novice Flat.
Liberty's Equestrian Center has been selected as the host site for the Region 4 competition on Feb. 24, just two weeks after putting on the first Hunt Seat show of the Spring semester on Feb. 10.
Between those two events, Liberty will travel to Fredericksburg, Va., on Feb. 17-18 for the final two Hunt Seat shows, hosted by Mary Washington on the same days the Western team goes to St. Andrews (N.C.) for its final two events.
Gayheart qualified for regionals in Novice Flat after previously reaching the required points mark in Intermediate Fences. She will be joined by teammates Burdette in Intermediate Flat, senior Zoe Leppke in Novice Fences, junior Ryan Wambolt in Walk-Trot, and Gill in Novice Flat, which she qualified for on Saturday.
Liberty's Western team will open the Spring semester by traveling to Williamsburg for a show hosted by Martin Community College on Jan. 27-28 before the Hunt Seat team hosts its first Region 4 event at the Liberty Equestrian Center on Feb. 10.