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MTSU riders’ national, academic awards end coach’s...

MTSU riders’ national, academic awards end coach’s career on a high note

A trip to Kentucky turned into an award-winning competition for four of five MTSU Equestrian Team members and longtime coach Anne Brzezicki in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association nationals May 4-7 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The IHSA nationals were a culmination of regional competitions for 400 college and university programs and 9,100-plus riders. At the regions, the top two riders in each category advance to the semifinals, then the top four advance to nationals.

MTSU rider Kelsey Sloan exhibits her form and communication skills during the canter in the Cacchione Cup flat phase at the IHSA national in Lexington, Ky. (Photos submitted)

Kelsey Sloan placed third overall in the Cacchione Cup in the Hunter Seat division. She was in fifth place out of 38 riders in the first phase, where the course included 10 fences the horse and rider must clear, second in Phase 2, and third overall after the top five performed an additional test over a course of fences.

Sloan is a junior horse science major from Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Lauren King, a senior business management major from Arrington, Tennessee, placed third in the individual reining competition sponsored by the National Reining Horse Association.

This qualifies King for the NRHA Collegiate Challenge June 30 at NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The top four riders from IHSA and National Collegiate Equestrian Association championships are eligible to compete, plus the top four finishers in the college age group from the NRHA competition.

Horses will be assigned by random draw and shown after a four-minute familiarization warm-up.

Lindsey Ross rode to a third-place finish in Novice Over Fences. The junior criminal justice major from Maryville, Tennessee, was reserve zone champion before the nationals.

Delaney Rostad finished fifth in NRHA Individual Reining and 16th in the American Quarter Horse Association High Point Rider class. Rostad is a senior horse science major from Maryville. She earned high point Western rider honors in Zone 5/Region 1.

Morgan Bowie, a junior horse science major from Toney, Alabama, competed but did not place in Advanced Western Horsemanship. She was reserve champion at the Western semifinals earlier this spring.

MTSU senior Lauren King, third from left, receives a third-place ribbon from IHSA founder Bob Cacchione and Gary Carpenter, NRHA executive secretary, during the national competition. (Photo submitted)

MTSU senior Lauren King, third from left, receives a third-place ribbon from IHSA founder Bob Cacchione and Gary Carpenter, NRHA executive secretary, during the national competition. (Photo submitted)

Seven equestrian team members were recognized with All-Academic Achievement Awards.

Ross, King, Rostad and Caroline Blackstone, a freshman from Murfreesboro, received first-team honors for having GPAs of 3.8 or higher. Second-team honorees with 3.5 to 3.79 GPAs included sophomore Holly Poindexter of Clarksville, Tennessee, junior Julia Rhyne of Brentwood, Tennessee, and junior Lauren Rieuf of Franklin, Tennessee.

The Coach Sportsmanship Award was presented to Brzezicki, who is retiring after 32 years. In 2015, Brzezicki received the Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor of the Year Award in Amarillo, Texas.

Instructor Andrea Rego and graduate students Emily Cavender and Ariel Herrin assisted Brzezicki with teaching and various program details.

MTSU’s Horse Science Program is part of the university’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience and one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.

For more information, call 615-898-2832 or visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/horse-science.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU rider Delaney Rostad performs a sliding stop aboard Peppy, a State University of New York-Oswego horse provided for the competition at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. (Submitted photo by Mark King

MTSU rider Delaney Rostad performs a sliding stop aboard Peppy, a State University of New York-Oswego horse provided for the competition at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

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MTSU riders compete at nationals in longtime coach’s final season

Five members of the MTSU Equestrian Team will be competing in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association national event May 4-7 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

The IHSA nationals are a culmination of regional competitions for 400 college and university programs and 9,100-plus riders.

At the regionals, the top two riders in each category advance to the semifinals, then the top four advance to nationals.

MTSU Equestrian Team members competing in the IHSA nationals in Lexington, Ky., May 4-7 are shown with MTSU horse Shakers Cowgal. From left are Morgan Bowie, Delaney Rostad, Kelsey Sloan, Lindsey Ross and Lauren King.

MTSU Equestrian Team members competing in the IHSA nationals in Lexington, Ky., May 4-7 are shown with MTSU horse Shakers Cowgal. From left are Morgan Bowie, Delaney Rostad, Kelsey Sloan, Lindsey Ross and Lauren King. (Photos submitted)

MTSU’s individual riders include:

  • Delaney Rostad, a senior horse science major from Maryville, Tennessee, who will be competing in Open Reining. She was the high point Western rider in Zone 5/Region 1, competing for the American Quarter Horse Association Cup.
  • Lauren King, a senior business management major from Arrington, Tennessee, who will compete in Open Reining.
  • Lindsey Ross, a junior criminal justice major from Maryville, who will compete in the Novice Over Fences division. She was reserve zone champion.
  • Kelsey Sloan, a junior horse science major from Olive Branch, Mississippi, who was high point Hunter Seat in the region. She will represent Zone 5/Region 1 in vying for the Cacchione Cup in the Hunter Seat division.
  • Morgan Bowie, a junior horse science major from Toney, Alabama, who will compete in Advanced Western Horsemanship. She was reserve champion at the Western semifinals.
Anne Brzezicki, foreground, who has coached the MTSU Equestrian Team for 32 years, will see five individual riders competing in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national competition May 4-7 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Anne Brzezicki, foreground, who has coached the MTSU Equestrian Team for 32 years, will see five individual riders competing in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national competition May 4-7 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

This marks the final season for MTSU coach Anne Brzezicki.

While MTSU did not advance in the team category, five individuals qualified for nationals.

“We were very disappointed at not qualifying (as a team), but to have both high point riders is very, very cool,” says Brzezicki, who expects to remain on the IHSA board.

“I am motivated, as are the students. It never gets old when you’ve got another competition.”

Her coaching philosophy always centers on teaching.

“There’s more important things than winning,” Brzezicki says. “Eventually, those student riders — and they come here with no or lots of experience — become great performers. Then they help the new students and bring them into the system.

“If you can find the best that everybody brings to the team, the whole team benefits.”

Brzezicki considers defending champion Savannah College of Art and Design from Georgia and Centenary University in New Jersey the favorites in the Collegiate Cup Hunter Seat team division. She expects defending co-champ St. Andrews University in North Carolina and Ohio State to battle for the AQHA Western team title.

One of Brzezicki’s top awards — among countless honors — was receiving the Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor of the Year Award in fall 2015 in Amarillo, Texas.

Instructor Andrea Rego and graduate students Emily Cavender and Ariel Herrin help Brzezicki with teaching and other program details.

MTSU’s Horse Science Program is part of the university’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience and one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.

For more information, call 615-898-2832 or visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/horse-science.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU rider Kelsey Sloan makes a turn after her horse clears the fence during the 2016 IHSA national event.

MTSU rider Kelsey Sloan makes a turn after her horse clears the fence during the 2016 IHSA national event.

MTSU rider Delaney Rostad competes in the IHSA semifinals at Laurinburg, N.C.

MTSU rider Delaney Rostad competes in the IHSA semifinals at Laurinburg, N.C.


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