Six students represented the William Woods University Hunter/Jumper Show Team at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show last week.
According to Linda McClaren, assistant professor of equestrian science, “Team WWU made a good showing at this tough fall show, riding horses that they have just been getting to know since school started a couple of weeks ago.”
Ashley Stannard of Plymouth, Minn., riding “Fiona,” won a blue ribbon, a second and third place and ended up with a Reserve Championship. Fawn McDaniel of Dover, Mass., and “Jackalope” won a blue ribbon and two sixth place ribbons. Betsy Irvin of Ballwin, Mo., and “Woodland’s Eclipse” won a second and fourth place. Janelle Kessler of Eden Prairie, Minn., won fourth and fifth place ribbons.
All WWU riders competed in the Adult Jumper division. William Woods University freshmen Erika Sandrok of Glen Ellyn, Ill., and Whitney Miller of Boise, Idaho, worked as grooms for the team of university riders.
“Team WWU’s performance at the Charity show was even more impressive considering that their victories came against other competitors at the show who have been building the relationship with their equine partners for many months,” McClaren said.
“Everyone won ribbons and the strong performance from all members of team WWU bodes well for the coming year. Teamwork and camaraderie were displayed by all, and there were even times that we even had a nice gathering of current and past WWU students around the show ring telling stories and cheering each other on.”
Senior Betsy Irvin also showed the green pony “Spirit” in his first “big” divisions at the Charity. Irwin and “Spirit” completed every course with only small mistakes attributable to the pony’s lack of experience.
“Jumping courses designed by world-class course designer Jose Gamarra from Florida asked demanding questions of horse and rider teams, making the competition a tough one for the small but mighty ‘Spirit,’” McClaren said.
Irwin is training the 5-year-old Morgan to become one of WWU’s future stars as part of her Mentor-Mentee honors research project with McClaren.