Photo: (l-r) Lindsey Trockenbrot, Cailey Culp, Samantha Gallo, Shelby Balmas, Sarah Beth Felker, Hannah Newman, Annie Owen, Gina Ulveie, Maggie Martin, Coach Carla Wennberg
In an unusual geographic assignment and task for the St. Andrews Western team that might have sent them to either Ocala, FL or Findlay, OH, their trip was to Wellsville, Utah, for the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Western Semi-Finals.
In competition including the eventual champion Oregon State University, St. Andrews once again was up against much larger schools including the U. of Cincinnati, University of Wisconsin, Northern Kentucky University, Utah State University and Rocky Mountain College. St. Andrews would finish sixth.
Team members included Gina Uleive (7th reining), Sarah Beth Felker (6th in Open Horsemanship), Hannah Newman (5th Advanced Horseman), Maggie Marti (4th Novice), Shelby Balma (4th Intermediate) and Samantha Gall (4th walk).
However, earning a trip to the national finals in Syracuse, NY, were individual winners Sarah Beth Felker (3rd in Open Horsemanship) and Annie Owen (7th Open Horsemanship) out of 15. Gina Uleive was the High Point Regional rider and also earned a spot at nationals as region High Point.
Western Coach Carla Wennberg said, “My team did a great job for the experience level they had going into the Utah semi-finals. It was a big step up for us and many on the team had never had the competition experience to handle the competition. It’s been a rebuilding year, plus the struggles with the weather and events from last fall so our preparation has been different.”
She added, “Utah State University was an amazing host, great facility, beautiful setting and great horses. Amazing for our students to fly to a competition. Overwhelming, too. Winning is part of the plan, but the journey is the success ultimately.”
Next stop for Coach Wennberg, Felker and Uleive is Syracuse where once again, St. Andrews will be represented on the national Western finals equestrian stage.
St. Andrews University is a branch of Webber International University located in Laurinburg, NC. The University’s mission is to offer students an array of business, liberal arts and sciences, and pre-professional programs of study that create a life transforming educational opportunity which is practical in its application, global in its scope, and multi-disciplinary in its general education core. Students will acquire depth of knowledge and expertise in their chosen field of study, balanced by breadth of knowledge across various disciplines, while pursuing a degree at associate, bachelor, or master level. Special emphasis is placed on enhancing oral and written communication, and critical thinking skills. The international quality of the student body enriches personal experience and promotes understanding of international cultures and influences. Through an atmosphere in which self-discipline, creativity and cultivation of ethical standards are enhanced, the University is dedicated to teaching its students the “how to learn, how to think, and how to apply method” to each new challenge.