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    February 27, 2021 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Liberty University's Hunt Seat equestrian team hosted the University of Lynchburg in a scrimmage this past Saturday at the Liberty Equestrian Center, where several UL riders also board their horses.

    No team scores were kept but the Lady Flames fared well in the individual events, including first-place finishes in five of the nine categories.

    "For this event, we were trying to get as many students involved as possible, with most of our Hunt Seat roster riding in one form or another," Liberty Director of Equestrian Programs and Hunt Seat Head Coach Suzanne Flaig said, noting IHSA Region 4 has decided not to hold any sanctioned shows this semester. "This was a great opportunity for our kids to get experience in our first event of the semester."

    Nadia Cooper was named the Open Division High Point Rider while fellow Liberty junior Juliana Gorena earned Intermediate Hight Point Rider accolades and freshman Ellie Bruss tied with Lynchburg's Lily Rhodes for top honors as the Limit High Point Rider.

    Nadia Cooper, Ellie Bruss, and Juliana Gorena pose with their Open, Limit, and Intermediate High Point ribbons.

    Cooper captured the blue ribbon in both the Open/Intermediate Over Fences and Flat events, followed by junior teammate Hanna Gossard, who was the runner-up in both. Gorena placed fourth in that division of Over Fences and junior Brooke Boan was fourth on the Flat and sixth in Over Fences.

    Gorena also won the Intermediate Flat competition, followed by Lady Flames juniors Aubrey Windsor (third) and Carly Woods (fourth) and Bruss finished first in the Limit Flat and second in the Limit Equitation Over Fences events. Bruss was followed by Woods (third) and sophomore Rebecca Honaker (fourth) in Limit Equitation Over Fences and Honaker (third) in Limit Flat.

    In the Pre-Novice Equitation on the Flat competition, the Lady Flames swept the top three places on the podium with sophomore Lauren Shank taking the blue ribbon, sophomore Rachel Baldwin donning the white, and freshman Meghan Peterson earning the yellow for third place. Sophomore Rachel Vence finished fifth in that category.

    Sophomore Lydia Lambdin placed second in the Novice Hunter Hack Equitation A event. (Photo by Ellie Bruss)

    In Novice Hunter Hack Equitation A, sophomore Lydia Lambdin and freshman Auna Gutting placed second and third, respectively, as did junior Shelby Steele and sophomore Briley Boan in Novice Hunter Hack Equitation B.

    In the Introductory competition, senior Kendall Long and sophomore Shelby Daughtery finished second and third, respectively.

    In March, Liberty's Western team will travel to Midway College in Kentucky for a scrimmage before the Hunt Seat and Western teams host Berry (Ga.) College.

    "That will be a little bigger event, and a great opportunity to showcase our program," Flaig said. "Then, in April, we will be going to Mary Washington University (in Fredericksburg, Va.) for a show."

    This Saturday, as one of Campus Recreation's offerings, the Equestrian Center will host a Horses Meet & Greet event.

    "That will be more of an open house for the Equestrian Center, and an introductory-type experience, not a riding session," Flaig said. "Students can come up and see some of the horses and we will be telling them about what we have to offer. Team members will volunteer to guide tours and answer questions and, if students express interest, they can get more hands-on with the horses and learn how to groom them."


    Video by Olivia Bergen/Club Sports Video & Media Coordinator