NDSU Hunt Seat riders advance to Zone Competition | TSLN.com

NDSU Hunt Seat riders advance to Zone Competition

NDSU hunt seat rider Kayla Young competes in the open over fences class. Photo courtesy NDSU

Several members of North Dakota State University's hunt seat team are advancing to zone competition at West Texas A&M University on April 9.

Four of them qualified for zones at regional competition Feb. 28. The top two riders in each of the eight Intercollegiate Horse Show Association classes in regional competition are eligible to advance to zones.

Those four riders and their places in the regional competition were:

Rebecca Prasch, a junior from Lino Lakes, Minn. – champion, open over fences; third, open flat

“I could tell early on in the season that this team was very talented, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. Being the first NDSU hunt seat team to earn the title of regional high-point team is such a great accomplishment, and a true testament to the dedication this team has.” Mattia Gunkelman, team coach

Bryn Halley, a graduated senior from Langdon – champion, walk/trot

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Kayla Young, a sophomore from Plymouth, Minn. – reserve champion, open flat; third, open over fences

Hailey Aagard, a senior from Wadena, Minn. – reserve champion, walk/trot/canter

Others who placed in regional competition were:

Morgan Samuelson, a sophomore from Cologne, Minn. – third, novice over fences; third, novice flat

Erin Thelander, a freshman from Little Falls, Minn. – fifth, walk/trot/canter

Samantha Stoel, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D. – sixth, novice over fences

Hunt seat is a form of the English discipline of riding. At the collegiate level, riders are judged on their equitation. That is the riders' form, style and position in the saddle, along with how effectively they use their aids and ride a horse through a jump course and/or on the flat in the most correct manner.

Riders are asked to walk, trot and canter their horses in both directions. They can be tested further by being asked to perform other activities, such as drop their stirrups, execute a pattern or counter-canter.

NDSU's hunt seat team also was named the Zone 7 Region 3 high-point team for the year. This honor is earned by accumulating the most points throughout the nine regular-season shows. The high point team from each region is able to send a full team of riders to zones to compete for team placings.

The zones team riders and the events in which they will compete are:

Young – open over fences and open flat

Samuelson – intermediate over fences and intermediate flat

Nick Scarberry, a junior from Fargo – novice over fences

Dana Williams, a junior from Vacaville, Calif. – novice flat

Bridget Kackos, a freshman from Neversink, N.Y. – walk/trot/canter

Emma Ballard, a freshman from Pelican Rapids, Minn. – walk/trot

The hunt seat team finished its final regular-season show Feb. 27 by being named reserve champion team. That show was held at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

"I could tell early on in the season that this team was very talented, and they definitely didn't disappoint," says Mattia Gunkelman, the team's coach. "Being the first NDSU hunt seat team to earn the title of regional high-point team is such a great accomplishment, and a true testament to the dedication this team has."

She noted that the results from this season are very exciting for her and the team and, the team has a strong group of riders who will represent NDSU at the zones competition.

"I am very proud of the dedication, time and hard work this team has put in to make the NDSU hunt seat team a competitive group," she adds.

–NDSU Agriculture Communication

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