Western riders Reserve High Point champions at St. Andrews
February 18, 2018 | Laurinburg, N.C.
Riders from Liberty University's Western equestrian team finished as the Reserve High Point team to host St. Andrews University in Saturday's and Sunday's final Region 4 regular-season shows in Laurinburg, N.C.
The Lady Flames and Flames completed the regular season in third place in the overall Region 4 team standings behind St. Andrews, the defending Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national champion, and runner-up North Carolina State University.
Individually, junior Amber Dixon placed first on both days in Intermediate 1 Horsemanship to lead the Lady Flames while senior Kaleigh Bryce finished first and second, respectively, in Novice Horsemanship and freshman Kara Wiley earned blue and red ribbons in Intermediate 2 Horsemanship.
Meanwhile, Liberty's Hunt Seat equestrian team was edged by Randolph-Macon College, 40-38, and Sweet Briar College in its final Region 4 regular-season show on Saturday and Sunday, hosted by Mary Washington University. Sweet Briar overtook the Lady Flames for first place in the final team standings, clinching the region's only team bid to the Zone 4 championships.
On Saturday, Liberty had first-place finishes from juniors Kendall Burdette (Open Flat) and Hannah Sensing (Intermediate Fences) and senior Claire Gill (Novice Flat). Sophomores Amber Gayheart (Open Fences), Olivia Kuban (Walk-Trot-Canter), and Sarah Reece (Walk-Trot); juniors Morgan Faber (Intermediate Flat) and Isabella Cruz (Intermediate Flat); senior Zoe Leppke (Novice Flat); and freshman Sasha Cox (Novice Flat), each placed second.
On Sunday, Reece earned first-place honors in Walk-Trot, Gayheart in Intermediate Flat, and Emily Chaffins in Walk-Trot-Canter, while sophomore Brooke Boan (Walk-Trot-Canter), Leppke (Novice Flat), Gayheart (Open Fences), and Gill (Novice Flat) came in second.
While Liberty's Hunt Seat team hosts the Region 4 individual championship this Saturday and Sunday at the Liberty Equestrian Center, five members of the Lady Flames' Western team will return to St. Andrew's for Sunday's Western regional championships — seniors Leah Ofalt and Anna Davidson, juniors Brianna Bass and Erin Mays, and sophomore Maddie Temple.
The top two riders in each division will advance to the Zone 4 semifinals hosted by West Virginia on March 17-18, with the top two finishers there qualifying for the May 3-6 IHSA National Championships in Harrisburg, Pa.