Wednesday, May 17, 2017

[453a] MTSU riders’ national, academic awards end coach’s career on a high note

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — It turned into an award-winning competition for four of five Middle Tennessee State University equestrian team members and longtime coach Anne Brzezicki during the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association nationals May 4-7 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

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.

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 (on the flat) 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. Eligible to compete are the top four riders from IHSA and National Collegiate Equestrian Association championships, 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 for 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.

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 (for having a 3.5 to 3.79 GPA) 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 MTSU’s Brzezicki, who is retiring after 32 years. In 2015, she 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 all the teaching and various other details in the program.

For more information about the program and horse science, call 615-898-2832 or visit Horse science is a program in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience and one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.

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