Finishing 48 points in the lead after the final regular season show on Feb. 17, the UW-River Falls Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Western Show Team was named 2017-18 Zone 7 Region 3 Team Champions. The team competed against eight other teams from the Midwest over the course of the 2017-18 season.
As team champions, one rider from each level will go on to compete in the semifinal competition March 17-18 in New York. Individuals who were grand champion or reserve champion riders in their division also will advance. Students and categories representing UW-River Falls at the semifinals are:
• Open Reining: Danielle Paulson, animal science major from Pine Island, Minn.
• Open Horsemanship: Autumn Kappers, animal science major from Spring Valley, Minn., and Danielle Paulson, animal science major from Pine Island, Minn.
• Advanced Horsemanship: Jackie Bucher-Thayer, agricultural business major from Ridgeland; Jennifer Lorenz, agricultural business major from Onalaska; and Rachel Shamro, agricultural business major from Hayward.
• Novice Horsemanship: Sydni Loose, animal science major from Cedar Grove, and Kaycee Hatch, animal science major from Racine.
• Intermediate Horsemanship: Kendyl Bennett, accounting major from Preston, Minn., and Erica Kolstad, animal science major from Elk River, Minn.
• Beginner Horsemanship: Sammy Abrahamson, agricultural education major from Minneapolis, and Jessica Oldroyd, psychology major from River Falls.
The semifinals in New York are one of three semifinal competitions going on around the country. The top three overall placing teams and the top first- through fourth-placing individuals at semifinals will advance to the IHSA national championship May 5-6 in Harrisburg, Pa. Danielle Paulson, the AQHA Cup Champion (high point rider) for 2017-18, accumulated 100 points in open reining and open horsemanship so she advances directly to nationals.