MTSU equestrian team sending six riders to national championship


MTSU Equestrian Team
MTSU's Lauren King spins in her reining pattern; named Champion in Open Reining (FILE / Robin Duff)

Photo courtesy of Robin Duff

The Middle Tennessee equestrian team has gone under the radar this season with the historic 2015-2016 athletic season for the Blue Raiders. They’ll be sending six riders to compete in the IHSA National Championship Show, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 5-8.

MTSU’s equestrian team is one of nearly 400 collegiate teams apart of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA), which gives the group of 42 MTSU riders a chance to compete for a spot in the IHSA National Championship Show.

In March, 33 colleges gathered at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum to vie for just three spots in the National Championship show.

St. Andrews University was the high point team (1st place), West Texas A&M University was reserve (2nd place) and the University of Louisville finished third. MTSU fell just shy of qualifying for Nationals as a team, placing fourth.

However, four individual MTSU western riders competed and qualified for nationals during the Western Semifinals. Delaney Rostad was crowned Champion in Advanced Horsemanship. Lauren King was named reserve Champion in Open Horsemanship and Champion in Open Reining. Leah Piper placed third in Open Reining, and Ariel Herrin was Champion in Alumni Horsemanship and reserve Champion in Alumni Reining.

Kelsey Sloan and Emily Hulak qualified for Nationals at The Hunter Seat Zone Championship, which was held in Savannah, Georgia, rounding out the field of six riders that MTSU will send to Lexington, Kentucky, to compete in Nationals.

Follow Caleb Luketic on Twitter for more MTSU sports coverage.

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To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email sports@mtsusidelines.com or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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