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UW Equestrian Club Ready for Regional Competitions

March 10, 2011

The University of Wyoming equestrian club, with a record 11 qualifiers, will compete in a pair of Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) regional events this weekend.

The top two finishers in each class at Saturday's hunter seat riding event in Firestone, Colo., and Sunday's western riding event in Cheyenne will move one step closer to qualifying for the IHSA National Championship Show, May 5-8 in Lexington, Ky.

Seven UW contestants -- fronted by Katie Hurrell, a contender for the Cacchione Cup, the IHSA's top individual award -- will ride at the University of Colorado-hosted hunter seat finals. Hurrell (Golden, Colo.) will be joined by teammates Katie French (Plymouth, Minn.), Jessica Ford (Casper), Rachel Kesy (Cheyenne), McCabe Jones (Dillon, Colo.), Bea Sanders (Castle Rock, Colo.) and Brittany Unrein (Littleton, Colo.).

The following day at Laramie County Community College, Jones and Unrein will shift their focus to western riding. Kaela Fischer (Lakewood, Colo.) will also represent UW.

"I expect good things, I really do," says UW Coach Kari Randle-Bright. "All of my kids are riding really well and have been riding strong all year. I have nothing but great expectations."

Randle-Bright will also pay close attention to Hurrell's bid to claim high point rider in Zone 8, Region 5 of the IHSA. She and Colorado's Jen Burke, tied following the regular season, will stage a ride-off at Saturday's competition with the winner remaining in contention for the Cacchione Cup.

"We're hoping for the best," Randle-Bright says.

Two other UW riders, Desiree Bridges (Jackson) and Liz Webb (Gaithersburg, Md.), also qualified for regionals but decided not to compete.

To reach nationals, IHSA riders must advance through regional and zone (hunter seat) or semifinal (western) competitions.

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