Savannah Enjoys Two Wins at ANRC Nationals
by Pam Whitfield
(Note: a longer version of this article appeared in the May 12 issue of the Chronicle of the Horse)
Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.) managed two wins at ANRC’s 29th annual National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship in Laurinburg, NC, on April 22-23, 2006. SCAD took home the overall team title for the third time, and senior Jordan Siegel won her third individual championship. St. Andrews Presbyterian College (NC) was reserve champion team overall, with third year student Christina Kalinski finishing as the individual reserve champion by a mere 0.29 points. Goucher College’s consistent rides earned the Maryland school a close third place.
SCAD and St. Andrews ran neck in neck heading into the final phase, the hunter trials equitation, but Savannah junior Hattie Saltonstall hit a rhythm across the wide grass field and posted the day’s highest score, a 90. Saltonstall also posted the high score of 90 in the morning’s hunter seat equitation phase, and finished as individual winner of both phases. Siegel followed her teammates’ ride with her own 89 on the outside course, making SCAD uncatchable. The Georgia school’s three riders—Siegel, Meredith Gallagher, and Saltonstall–finished first, third and fourth overall respectively.
For Siegel, the double win was bittersweet, signaling the end of her college riding career.
Siegel, also a former IHSA national champion, became the first freshman rider ever to win ANRC Nationals in 2003. After graduation, “I’m going to stay amateur for a few years and campaign,” said Siegel. “And help my mom, who is a professional”.
Kalinski, a third year student, piloted St. Andrews mount Jean Claude to the reserve championship by placing second in the dressage phase and third in the hunter trials. “In the final phase, my game plan was to ride the rhythm and have fun,” she said. “Jean Claude’s forte is the flat phase [dressage sportif], but he likes the outside course.” The Bethel, CT student galloped evenly and found the fences easily to score an 88 in that phase.
St. Andrews’ new 300 acre equestrian campus beckoned riders with its white fencing, sandy soil and large grassy schooling areas. Everyone praised the facility and their hosts, but the jewel of the event was the sprawling outside course with its long gallops and picturesque jumps. The inviting hunter trials course featured eleven natural obstacles, including an aiken, a trellis fence, and a step-up to a bank. Although the two-stride in-and-out and the log fence caused a few refusals, the greatest challenge of the course was the long gallops between each fence, requiring horses to be fit and riders to establish a hunting pace and find the jumps out of stride.
USEF steward Jayne Nelson of Raleigh, NC, enjoyed the ANRC competition format. “I haven’t seen an outside course in a long time,” she noted. “It’s challenging and good for [the riders] to get out of the ring. I listen to the kids as they come back in and they’re excited and saying how much fun they had.”
Judge Carol Hoffman, of Frenchtown, NJ, said, “The three phases are terrific. It gets away from computerized riding; you have to ‘horseback’ more. You can’t do what I call the zombie jumping.” Hoffman also appreciated the educational component of the written test. “I was reading the study bibliography,” said the USEF “R” judge. “I think that having [Captain] Littauer and Anne Kursinski as influences is great.”
The 3’ hunt seat equitation course, designed by Scot Evans, “R” judge from Little York, NJ, also discouraged “computerized riding” with its numerous single fences and multiple bending lines.
Three schools competed at ANRC Nationals for the first time: Virginia Tech, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Carleton College (MN). Like Christopher Newport (Va.), Virginia Tech leased horses from the host school, St. Andrews, but Carleton College’s two riders arrived from 1300 miles away with three horses of their own, and spent the week acclimating and schooling.
Carleton’s riders had another challenge: preparing for the outside hunter trials course. In winter-bound Minnesota, riders are limited to indoor arenas for as much as six months of the year. “We really couldn’t replicate the hunter trials phase because we have to train inside all winter,” explained coach Jacqui Cripe. “But riding in an indoor ring helped us with rollbacks, tight turns, and jumps that come up quick. It’s the long approach that we have trouble with.”
Patty Heuckeroth of Southern Pines, NC, who last judged this event in 2002, said, “The competition has gotten stiffer and there are lots more riders. It’s really first class. They’re obviously doing a good job of teaching”.
ANRC Chair Patte Zumbrun, who directs Goucher College’s equestrian program, has brought teams to ANRC Nationals since 1984. “This competition personifies the ANRC and the forward riding system,” she stated. “It’s such a good education for riders because it requires them to ride the dressage test, go forward in the open field, and also ride the equitation course. You really have to be prepared; you can’t just get lucky.”
Lydia Davies (Malvern, Pa.) of Goucher College won the event’s Sportsmanship Award. The ANRC presented two new awards this year as part of the USHJA Affiliate Awards Program. Whitney Roper of the UVA won the ANRC Collegiate Amateur Rider Award.
The ANRC Professional Service Award was given to Paul Cronin of Rectortown, Va. for his contributions to the organization and his personification of the forward riding system. Cronin’s recent book, Schooling and Riding the Sporthorse: An American Hunter-Jumper System, has updated the system in text for a new generation of riders and students of the horse.
Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, will host ANRC Nationals in 2007.
2006 Intercollegiate Championship Results
ANRC National Intercollegiate Riding Championship
Saturday, April 22 & Sunday, April 23, 2006
Hosted by St. Andrews Presbyterian College
OVERALL TEAM COMPETITION
1st: Savannah College of Art and Design 171.68
2nd: St. Andrews 163.02
3rd: Goucher College 157.57
4th: Sweet Briar College 156.69
5th: Virginia Intermont 155.59
6th: Centenary College 150.06
7th: University of Virginia 132.40
8th: Delaware Valley 125.44
OVERALL INDIVIDUAL COMPETITION
1st: 187 Jordan Siegel 84.51 Savannah College of Art & Design
2nd: 182 Christina Kalinski 84.22 St. Andrews Presbyterian College
3rd: 174 Meredith Gallagher 83.12 Savannah College of Art & Design
4th: 163 Hattie Saltonstall 82.96 Savannah College of Art & Design
5th: 179 Christina Serio 79.48 Sweet Briar College
6th: 173 Ericka Jewell 79.22 Virginia Intermont College
7th: 180 Julie Fink 79.14 Goucher College
8th: 195 Janelle Harcus 78.80 St. Andrews Presbyterian College