Blayne Bradley

Rodeo ropin:

Blayne Bradley does his job as the header in team roping on March 26.

Photo by Dimitri Sofias

Posted on April 7, 2014

Riders compete
in regional semifinals

The Laramie County Community College equestrian team qualified three riders for Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Western semifinals in Findley, Ohio, March 29–30.

The semifinals for Western riders is in a two–day format, with heats of about 20 riders. To get to the second day of competition, the riders must finish top eight in their heat. On that second day, they must finish top four to qualify for nationals.

The equestrian team is made up of two teams, the hunt seat and Western. Each team has different tack, which consists of saddle, bridle and other gear, different attire and a different type of horse.

The equestrian team placed fifth place overall in hunt seat and placed third overall in Western.

Sophomores Kelsey Jenkins, Kailey Kaufmann and Jessie Johnson qualified for the Western semifinals. Jenkins and Johnson are both returning to the semifinal stage both having earned appearances last year.

Jenkins and Johnson both placed ninth in the first round of advanced horsemanship and intermediate horsemanship, failing to make it to the second round. Kaufmann rode in the second round for beginner horsemanship and placed fifth, just missing a bid to nationals by one place.

For hunt seat riders, after season competitions are zones, which were held in Stanford, Calif., this year. Sophomore Nicole Blankenship qualified in jumping for zones and was preparing during the past weeks. While at zones, Blankenship competed against nine other qualifiers. To make nationals she would have had to finish in the top two.

The equestrian season spans from the beginning of school to the end and consists of eight or nine events per discipline. In each event, points are associated with first, second, third and so on. To earn a spot in regionals, the riders must earn at least 36 points throughout the season. A first-place finish earns the rider seven points; second earns five points; third earns four; fourth earns three; fifth earns two, and sixth place earns one point.

When going to semifinals, riders need to bring only clothes for the trip. While there, the host school provides all the horses, and the competitors then have to draw a horse and compete with it. “This tests the rider’s ability,” Coach Lanae McDonald said.


Equestrian team
qualifies three for semifinals

Rodeo ranks ninth
in Central Rocky Mountain Region