Equestriennes reign in last show of season

March 29, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Horse showEquestriennes reign in last show of season

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Nine members of the Wilson College Equestrienne Team have advanced to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's regional show this coming weekend.

At the team's last show of the season on Sunday, women from 10 schools vied for the last few points necessary to compete.

"It was a really good year for us. Nine is a darned good number," said coach Ann O'Shaille.

Emily Osborne, 19, a sophomore from Fairfax, Va., needed to win first place, which she achieved Sunday in the Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter.


"I really didn't think I'd actually get first," Osborne said, after her win over equestriennes from Slippery Rock University, West Virginia University and the University of Scranton.

The equestrienne team travels to the different schools in the region during the season. They ride the horses provided, which shows each woman's skill, said assistant coach Gina Woods.

"The whole idea is to find out how well you ride a horse you've never been on before and how good you look doing it," Woods said.

An equestrienne is scored on her control over the horse and her form, such as her hold on the reins and her body's position. The horses, although groomed and primped for the shows, are not judged.

Team members compete in equitation over fences or on a level course, depending on their skill level.

To advance to regionals, an equestrienne must accumulate 35 points during the October-through-March season in 10 shows. First place is awarded seven points, followed by five points for second, four points for third, three points for fourth, two points for fifth and one point for sixth.

Osbourne, a first-year equestrienne, had 29 points for only seven shows - not an easy feat, O'Shaille said.

"It is unusual," O'Shaille said. "It's not undoable. She's worked very hard. I'd hate to say she's a natural and take away from her work."

Heidi Rosenbush, a sophomore studying equine and equestrian management, will be competing in the regional show for the first time this year after winning first place in the Intermediate Equitation On The Flat.

The first-place ribbons for Osbourne and Rosenbush helped Wilson College tie with West Virginia University and Bucknell University for the high-point team award.

"The team really did a good job today," Rosenbush said. "We all worked hard on how well we placed overall."

Wilson College's equestrienne program began about 20 years ago with two barns and an outdoor arena, said Valerie Albert, a former coach and Wilson College alumna. The school now has three barns with 71 stalls, an outdoor arena and two indoor arenas.

About 35 horses are housed on the campus.

Nine of the 22 members will compete this coming weekend against 12 other colleges and universities at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa.

The first-, second- and third-place winners from that competition will advance to a zone competition. The top two winners in each category will then compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's national competition.

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