The Sweet Briar IHSA team is headed to the New York State Fairgrounds Expo Center for the 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Championship, where six Vixens will compete as a team and sophomore Kaitlin Duecker will also compete individually.
Duecker (Chesapeake, Va.), qualified for nationals as an individual after finishing the Zone 4 Championships as the novice flat champion.
Joining Duecker in team competition will be: first-year Pauli Born, first-year Chloe Kerschl (Lexington, Va.), junior Sarah Miller (Amissville, Va.), junior Abbey Narodowy (North Smithfield, R.I.) and senior Ailish Rhoades (Lebanon, Conn.).
The Vixens qualified for nationals by finishing as the Zone 4 hunter seat reserve champion, just seven points shy of Zone 4 champion Emory & Henry.
Born will compete in walk, trot after finishing third at the Zone 4 Championship, while Duecker will be part of the team competition as the Vixens’ rider in intermediate equitation on the flat and intermediate equitation over fences. At the Zone 4 Championship, Duecker won the intermediate flat and was third over fences.
Kerschl is slated to compete in open flat following a second-place finish at the Zone 4 Championship.
Miller will compete in both novice equitation on the flat and over fences after placing second at the Zone 4 Championship on the flat and winning novice fences.
Narodowy and Rhoades will compete in walk, trot, canter and open equitation over fences, respectively. Narodowy finished fifth at the Zone 4 Championship in walk, trot, canter, while Rhoades was fourth in open fences.
The IHSA National Championship is scheduled to begin on Thursday, May 2, at 8:30 a.m. Duecker will compete individually in novice flat on Thursday, while three Collegiate Cup events will take place on the opening day. Day one Collegiate Cup competition will include: novice equitation over fences (Miller), novice equitation on the flat (Miller) and intermediate equitation on the flat (Duecker).
Friday’s competition will begin at 8 a.m., with Collegiate Cup intermediate equitation over fences opening that day. Friday events include: intermediate equitation over fences (Duecker), walk, trot (Born) and walk, trot, canter (Narodowy).
The final day of hunter seat competition takes place on Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m., with Collegiate Cup open fences as the second event on the schedule. Rhoades will ride in open fences, while later in the day Kerschl will compete in open equitation on the flat.
Additional information about the 2019 IHSA National Championships can be found on the official website of the IHSA: ihsainc.com/events/nationals