St. Andrews Finishes Fourth in ANRC Championship

St. Andrews Presbyterian College achieved a fourth place overall finish in the American National Riding Commission's 32nd national championship April 17 - 19, 2009.
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St. Andrews Presbyterian College achieved a fourth place overall finish in the American National Riding Commission's 32nd national championship April 17 - 19, 2009.

April 20, 2009 -- Caroline Taylor of St. Andrews Presbyterian College scored the highest on the written phase during the American National Riding Commission's 32nd national championship this past weekend, helping her team to a fourth-place overall finish.

A senior psychology major from Colorado Springs, Colo., Kelsi Peterson led St. Andrews riders by finishing eighth in the individual competition.

The Savannah College of Art and Design won the 2009 team competition while its leading rider, Kelse Bonham, won the overall individual title.

In the awards ceremony following the competition, St. Andrews Equestrian Center Director Peggy McElveen received the prestigious Professional Service Award from the ANRC while Liz Harris, the St. Andrews assistant director of therapeutic horsemanship, received the ANRC Sportsmanship Award.

Kira Gainey and Lindsey Crowther, the coaches for the St. Andrews ANRC team, lauded their team's efforts despite having only two seniors and four sophomores on the seven-person team.

"This event was the culmination of all of their hard work," said Crowther. "They were not just showing horses, but they also helped in every possible way in setting up this show. They painted and decorated every jump for the competition."

Gainey added, "I was very pleased with how hard they all worked. They all supported each other and helped each other as a team."

Three of the St. Andrews riders--Taylor, Peterson and Morgan Worthington--finished in the top eight for the written phase.

"We spent months of preparation and study for the written test," said Taylor, a junior business equine major from Vanceboro. "We really need to know the information on this test to know how the horse world works, preparing us for our years after college."

Peterson led St. Andrews riders with an eight-place finish in the dressage phase. She also finished seventh in the hunter trials and sixth in the hunter seat.

"I'm really proud of my team," she said. "Everyone really rode well and rode their hearts out."

Others competing for the St. Andrews team were Lindsey Gates, a sophomore from Santa Paula, Calif., Audrey Hayden, a sophomore English major from Dumfries, Va., Rob Jacobs, a sophomore politics major from Temple Hills, Md., and Alexis Stevenson, a senior psychology and business equine major from Jacksonville, N.C.

Paddy Downing Nygard and Dacia Johnson judged the national championship. In addition to being a judge, Johnson is an accomplished rider including a world champion at amateur/owner hunter rider in 1996. This was her fourth stint as a national judge for the ANRC, having judged the competitions in 1995, 2000, and 2004.

Nygard has judged at prestigious shows such as Devon, the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, the West Coast Equitation and Pony Finals, Pebble Beach, HITS, and the Middleburg Classic. She is past chair of the USEF Pony Hunter Committee and the Central Florida Hunter Jumper Committee. She has also served as president of the Florida Hunter and Jumper Association and the Pinellas County Hunter Jumper Association.

Savannah College won the team title for the second consecutive year. Overall, the college has won the Betty Belser Memorial Trophy five times. St. Andrews has won the title six times. The University of Virginia has won the title more than any other college or university with 10 to its credit. Sweet Briar College has won the title nine times.

The event was dedicated to the memory of St. Andrews graduate Jon Conyers who passed away on Nov. 5, 2008. During his 26-year equestrian career, he served ANRC as a rated rider, judge, coach, intercollegiate chair, member of the Board of Directors, and national championship manager. He coached at St. Andrews, The Barracks - University of Virginia, Wesleyan College, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Sweet Briar College

Overall Team Championship
1.Savannah College of Art and Design
2.Centenary College
3.Sweet Briar College
4.St. Andrews Presbyterian College
5.Goucher College
6.University of the South
7.Otterbein College
8.Duke University

Overall Individual Champion
1.Kelse Bonham, Savannah College
2.Lindsey Mohr, Centenary College
3.Meredith Gallagher, Sweet Briar
4.Marissa Cohen, Centenary College
5.Chelsea McCarthy, Savannah College
6.Alison Sims, Sweet Briar College
7.Kelly MacDonald, Sweet Briar College
8.Kelsi Peterson, St. Andrews

Written Phase
1.Caroline Taylor, St. Andrews
2.Sarah Fishback, Sweet Briar
3.Amory Brandt, Goucher College
4.Julie Fink, Goucher College
5.Kelsi Peterson, St. Andrews
6.Morgan Worthington, St. Andrews
7.Rachel Field, Sweet Briar
8.Alison Sims, Sweet Briar

Dressage Phase
1.Lindsay Mohr, Centenary
2.Kelse Bonham, Savannah College
3.Jennifer Elrod, Centenary College
4.Meredith Gallagher, Savannah College
5.Sarah Fishback, Sweet Briar
6.Paul Frederick, Savannah College
7.Kelsi Peterson, St. Andrews
8.Kelly MacDonald, Sweet Briar

Hunter Trials Phase
1.Kelse Bonham, Savannah College
2.Meredith Gallagher, Savannah College
3.Chelsea McCarthy, Savannah College
4.Lindsey Mohr, Centenary
5.Marissa Cohen, Centenary
6.Alison Sims, Sweet Briar
7.Kelsi Peterson, St. Andrews
8.Jennifer Elrod, Centenary

Hunter Seat Medal Phase
1.Kelse Bonham, Savannah College
2.Lindsey Mohr, Centenary
3.Kelly MacDonald, Sweet Briar
4.Marissa Cohen, Centenary
5.Chelsea McCarthy, Savannah College
6.Kelsi Peterson, St. Andrews
7.Alison Sims, Sweet Briar
8.Sarah Fishback, Sweet Briar