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UW Equestrian Club Qualifies Two for National Championships

March 13, 2009 — March 23, 2009 -- A year ago, the University of Wyoming equestrian club qualified just one competitor for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships.

The UW contingent will be much larger in 2009.

Katie French (Plymouth, Minn.) and McCabe Jones (Dillon, Colo.) have already qualified for nationals in western riding and three of their teammates have a chance to join them with strong showings Sunday, April 5, at the IHSA's Zone 7 Championships at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

"I'm so happy with the way the team has performed this season, and I think our success just shows that we're moving the program in the right direction," says UW Coach Kari (Randle) Bright. "This is an exciting time for our club. I'm so proud of everybody!"

Elizabeth Kinnally (Westwood, N.J.), Stephanie Pruitt (Cheyenne) and club president Brittany Waltz (Anchorage, Alaska) will compete in hunter seat riding at the zone championships in Cheyenne. They qualified by placing among the top three in their respective divisions at the regional competition earlier this month in Colorado.

Jones and Lauren Heisel (Story) also represented UW at the hunter seat regional event but did not advance to zones.

French and Jones punched their ticket to the national championships, April 23-26 at Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with standout performances at one of three national semifinal events earlier this month in Texas.

"They rode their tails off," Bright says.

In 2008, Erin Downey was UW's only representative at the IHSA national event, and the university's first contestant at nationals since Michelle Schwope of Lovell and Amy Goodson of Sundance qualified in 2004.

The UW club is seeking sponsorships and donations to help pay for travel expenses for the national show. To offer financial assistance, call Bright at (307) 760-9474.

Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009

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