Tiffin University Western IHSA Team Off to a Great Start in 2013!
By Lauren Burdin, Tiffin University
On January 26th, Tiffin University traveled to the University of Findlay for the first IHSA Western Show of 2013. The Dragon Riders competed against the seven other teams in Zone 6, Region 1 which spans across northern Ohio and part of Pennsylvania. Tiffin University Equestrian started a tradition two years ago to wear different color ribbons on their jackets to support and raise awareness for different causes. In the past, riders can be pictured wear pink for breast cancer, light blue for prostate cancer, gray for brain cancer and most recently teal for cervical cancer to support fellow teammate Michelle Holman whose mother passed from the illness last summer.
The Dragons started out strong with team captain and open rider Misha Phillips clinching 2nd in Reining along with freshman Megan Nutter earning 4th. In Open Horsemanship, Phillips went on to earn 5th place. In Advanced Horsemanship, Montana Smith rode away with a 1st place which qualified her for regional competition and moved her up to Open Reining and Horsemanship for the following competition. In Novice Horsemanship divisions, Dragon riders Emilie Seyfang earned1st place, Michelle Holman in 2nd and Josh Gerschutz rounded out 3rd place. In the Intermediate II Division, Jessica Paule earned 3rd place, Kelly Dobbs received 5th place and Lauren Burdin trotted off with a 6th place finish. Sam Lewis was the lone Dragon rider competing in Intermediate I and managed a 5th place title for the Dragons. In Beginner Horsemanship, all of Tiffin’s riders earned ribbons. Megan Miller received 1st, Nicole Bruck earned 2nd, Collin O’Bryan placed 3rd and both Ashleigh Stevens and Evie Painter scored 5th place finishes. The Horsemanship classes wrapped up with the Alumni Division in which assistant coach Alison Dittman competed and earned 2nd place. Other Horsemanship competitors included Megan Nutter, Francesca Moody and Lindsey McKibben.
At the end of the first competition, the scoreboard revealed Tiffin University beating the University of Findlay by a narrow margin - scoring 27 points to their 26 in the team competition. This is the second time the Dragons have clinched a win from the Oilers at home in the past two years!
Head coach Julie Vogel was all smiles about the competition, “I am very proud of each and every TU competitor! For our first show of the spring season and practice time being very limited, I thought they all rode well! The team pulled together to help and support each other & that contributed to the show being a huge success! Even though this sport is mainly an individual competition, where teammates compete against each other, I strive for teamwork and dedication from my athletes. I am very blessed to have some great student athletes that aren’t afraid to put themselves out there for the benefit of the Tiffin University Equestrian Team. My sincere congratulations to all of my western riders! Well done team and GO DRAGONS!”
The Dragons faced some struggles in the second show of the day but ended up 3rd trailing just behind Reserve Team University of Akron and Champion Team University of Findlay. The Dragons will travel back to Findlay on February 9th for another western show.
Congratulations to all riders, and we look forward to hearing more from all IHSA teams as the season wraps up! –PleasureHorse.com