Abby Burkhalter riding Reign

William Woods Equestrian students capture big victories in prestigious national competitions

The month of November yielded some impressive victories for students in the William Woods University (WWU) Equestrian Science program, from some of the top national competitions in the industry.

At the Color Breed Congress, a nine-day horse show held every November in Tulsa, Oklahoma, riders competed in the Champion of Champion classes for winners of youth, amateur and open classes that are recognized by four breed associations: Appaloosa Horse Club, Palomino Horse Breeders of America, American Buckskin Registry Association and the Pinto Horse Association.

Champions from WWU at this year’s show (November 3-11) included:

Dylan Hassett ’25 (Doniphan, Neb.) – Unanimous Champion Equitation WT Solid

Abby Burkhalter ’25 (Fenton, Mo.)- Champion Youth Ranch Pleasure WT

Hannah White ’25 (Rich Hill, Mo.)- Reserve Champion under two individual judges in Youth Ranch Reining Solid

Olivia Veragen ’24 (Lakewood, Colo.)- Champion Open Solid Mares

Shay Leake ’24 (Center, Mo.)- Champion AM Palomino Showmanship

The American Royal is host to the UPHA (United Professional Horsemen’s Association) National Championships. Held annually in Kansas City, the very best Saddlebreds, Hackney Ponies and Road Horses from the UPHA chapters throughout the country compete each year for the prestige of being National Champions.

Champions from WWU for this year’s Royal (November 6-11) included:

Grant Hoofer ’24 (Wichita, Kan.) Champion and Grand Champion MO/KS/IOWA 5-Gaited Amateur 

Faith Sorum ’24 (Edmond, Okla.) Champion and Grand Champion MO/KS/IOWA 5-Gaited Pleasure Congratulations to all our William Woods champion equestrians for Fall 2023!

American Royal 2023 - William Woods University students