Hunt Seat Champions Crowned at IEA Nationals

Photo by McKenzie Yates

Hunt Seat competition at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals showcased the country’s best young riders April 22-24 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. Prizes were donated by Dover Saddlery, Essex Classics, Noble Outfitters, Equestrian Team Apparel, Equi in Style, Henri de Rivel Saddles, R.J. Classics, and Inkstables.

The day kicked off with the Varsity Intermediate Over Fences Team Final, which saw Elizabeth Trexler from Chatham Hall as the winner aboard Cully. Second place went to Ethan Maye of Clover Grove for his ride on Jackers. Third through eighth place finishers included Elisa Palmier of North Gate Equestrian Team on Cully, Elaina Schimer from Hudson Equestrian Team with Kobe, Madison Rheinheimer from Double Deuce Farm aboard Spike, Sophie Mauerhan of Storybook Jr. Cougars riding Kobe, Emily Leins from Madeira School with Diva, and Meagan McCaffery of Aggieland Equestrian on Dylan 1.

Future Intermediate Over Fences Team Finals honors went to Mary-Grace Segars of BritMohr Farm for her ride on Joey, with Sophia Mitchell from Old Homestead Farm riding Doug to second place. Third through eighth place went to, respectively, Sydney Shelby from MVCS Equestrian aboard Gus, Madison Fankhauser of Empress Equestrian Team on Party Girl, Erin Hasenoehrl from Childress Rodgers Stables, also riding Party Girl, Emerson Lane of Tally Ho Equestrian Team with Six, Madison Rauschenbach from Willow Fox aboard Darby, and Emily Miller of Storybook Jr. Cougars on Kobe.

Competition was fierce in the Varsity Open Championship, but Kayla Lott from Elvenstar rose to the top of the class aboard Birdie, also earning the Leading Hunt Seat Rider title. Ashley Sprinkle of Front Range Equestrian fought for second place on Greggor. Riders placing third through eighth included Wynne Weatherly of Cedarhill Farm on Quay, Nicole Mattucci from Wall Street Farm Wellington riding Thomas, Katie Balding from HRA/Foxtail Farm aboard Jojo, Ransome Rombauer of Sonoma Academy with Frankie,
Madeline Vorhies from BritMohr Farm and Abby, Natalie Siktberg from Double Deuce Farm riding Dior, and Mackenzie Russ of Country Farms riding Mike.

The Junior Varsity Novice Over Fences Team class came next, with Amanda Kray from Double Deuce Farm riding Cavy to the top spot. Ariana Chinoporos of North Gate Equestrian Team took second aboard Marker. Third through eighth place went to Chloe Love from Lucky C on Gus, Sophie Arena of Bux-Mont Equestrian Team with Ted, Juliette Alliata from Chatham Hall, also riding Ted, Olivia Kelly of Aggieland Equestrian on Covergirl, Ally Edwards from Madeira School aboard Joey, and Alexandra Gold of Limelight Farm riding Cavy.

For the last hunt seat class of the day, Future Novice Over Fences Team, Laurel Smith of Cranberry Equestrian Team took the victory on Whiskey. Abby Postel from Pebble Beach Equestrian rode Frosty to second place. Coming in third through eighth were Madelyn Grundig of Willow Fox riding Pennitoo, Abigail Sigwald from Storybook Jr. Cougars with Kermit, Shannon Dignard of HRA/Foxtail Farm aboard Pennitoo, Claire Peters from Fox Run Equestrian NC and Party Girl, Mary Kate Bellon of Tally Ho Equestrian Team riding Doug, and Lindsey McGeorge from Hidden Acres Equestrian Center on Dillion 2.

Sunday’s team finals started with Junior Varsity Beginner on the Flat, which crowned Hannah Chinoporos from North Gate Equestrian Team as victor for her ride aboard Liza. Second place went to Double Deuce Farm’s Sophie Olsen on Audie. Third through eighth place finishers included, respectively, Lizzy Schmitzer from MVCS Equestrian with Alex, Amber Bailey of Grazing Fields riding Bo, Bridget Vaughey from Madeira School and Gus, Annie Fournier of Cavalier Farm aboard Kermit, Chloe Kerschl from Clover Grove with Ted, and Sarah Doss of Chatham Hall on Joey.

Lindsey Johnson of North Gate Equestrian Team rode Audie to first place in the Future Beginner on the Flat Team Final, with Madison Brooks from Lucky C earning second place for her ride on Gus. Third through eighth place went to Maya Teng of Sweet Hills with Frosty, Claire McGovern from Fox Run Equestrian NC aboard Liza, Sarah Rudnik of Cranberry Equestrian Team and            Nick, Stella Thigpen from Old Homestead Farm with Party Girl, Cora Gartelmann of True Heart Equestrian Team aboard Pennitoo, and Alexandra Gendreau from HRA/Foxtail Farm on Bo.

The Junior Varsity Novice on the Flat Team Final champion was Alycia Petrauskas from Cavalier Farm on Marker, with Sadie Stott of Clover Grove riding Limerick to reserve champion. Riders placing third through eighth included Ariana Chinoporos from North Gate Equestrian Team riding Kermit, Amanda Kray of Double Deuce Farm with Darby, Abigale Roelke from Aggieland Equestrian aboard Joey, Giordana Daniels of Grandz Elite Stables on Alex, Samantha Crosson from CF Topflight riding Wally, and Alexandra Gold of Limelight Farm with Libby.

North Gate Equestrian Team continued their domination in the Future Novice on the Flat Team Final, with Grace MacShane taking the win aboard Darby. Cranberry Equestrian Team’s Laurel Smith earned second with Frosty. Third through eighth place went to Athena Bason from Lucky C on Theo, Lexi Freas of Old Homestead Farm riding Joey, Alexandra Piantieri from Sweet Hills aboard Marker, Chloe Adams from Empress Equestrian Team and Covergirl, Madelyn Grundig of Willow Fox on Party Girl, and Miriam Lawrence from Childress Rodgers Stables with Pennitoo.

Continuing her winning ways, Chatham Hall’s Elizabeth Trexler rode Jojo to the top of the Varsity Intermediate on the Flat Team Final, with Ann Ashley Daniel from Clover Grove riding Thomas to second place. Riders placing third through eighth included Elisa Palmier of North Gate Equestrian Team aboard Limerick, Myka Seger from Scottsdale Equestrian on Red, Haley Sheppard from Milton Eagles – Red Team riding Abby, Emily Leins of Madeira School with Dylan 1, Katrina Rolland from Woodside on Spike, and Jordan Guilmart from Cavalier Farm riding Six.

The Future Intermediate on the Flat Team Final title went to Emily Grace Swinson of Fox Run Equestrian NC aboard Limerick, while Sydney Shelby from MVCS Equestrian rode to second with Ferb. Third through eighth place finishers included Amanda Tom from True Heart Equestrian Team on Jojo, Emily Chae of North Gate Equestrian Team riding Apollo, Emily Brown from Zionsville Equestrian Team with Ted, Mallory Francis of HRA/Foxtail Farm aboard Felix, Madison Fankhauser of Empress Equestrian Team and Dylan 1, and Mary Margaret Overby from Old Homestead Farm on Pennitoo.

The final hunt seat class of the competition, Varsity Open on the Flat Team, saw Tomiko McGovern from Lucky C as victor riding Red. Jacey Albaugh form Madeira School rode Greggor to second place. Third through eighth place riders were Skye Bolen of MVCS Equestrian with Frankie, Kate Coffey from North Gate Equestrian Team and Denver, Natalie Siktberg of Double Deuce Farm aboard Abby, Jessica Martinez from RCR Farms riding Thomas, Rebecca Leigh of Milton Eagles – Red Team with Quay, and Meaghan Costa from Grazing Fields on Felix.

Thomas, provided by Otterbein University, was named the Leading Hunt Seat Horse and Chatham Hall’s Sarah Doss took home the Victor Hugo-Vidal Sportsmanship Award.

At the end of the day, North Gate Equestrian Team from Sudbury, MA, was named the Hunt Seat Middle School Champion, while reserve went to Cranberry Equestrian Team from Plympton, MA. Teams placing third through eighth were, respectively, Fox Run Equestrian from High Point, NC, Old Homestead Farm from Rocky Point, NC, MVCS Equestrian from Watsonville, CA, Lucky C Stables from New Paltz, NY, BritMohr Farm from Alpharetta, GA, and Sweet Hills from Melville, NY.

Proving unbeatable, North Gate Equestrian Team also took home the Hunt Seat Upper School Championship. Reserve champion honors went to Clover Grove from Fishersville, VA. Third through eighth place went to Double Deuce Farm Equestrian Team from Concord, OH, Chatham Hall from Chatham, VA, Lucky C Stables, Cavalier Farm from Roxbury, CT, Madiera School from McLean, VA, and MVCS Equestrian. Congratulations to all! 

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