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2010 ANRC National Intercollegiate Championship
Brisk weather and bright skies boded well for Savannah College of Art and Design at the 33rd ANRC National Intercollegiate Championship at Sweet Briar College, Virginia, on April 17 and 18, 2010. For the third year in a row, SCAD bested eight other colleges for the team championship, and Kels Bonham of SCAD topped the list of individual riders for the second time. William J. Moroney, Keedysville, MD, and Anne R. Kenan, Dahlonega, GA, judged the riding phases, and Marion Lee, Leesburg, VA, judged the written phase.
In addition to SCAD, Centenary College, Delaware Valley College, Goucher College, Otterbein College, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, University of Virginia, and Virginia Intermont College fielded teams, and College of William and Mary sent an individual rider.
The ANRC National Championship is a member event of the USHJA Affiliate Equitation Awards Program. The championship showcases the American Forward Riding System and the sporting horse. Judged on equitation, it rewards diversified skills in a three-phase competition. Competitors complete a dressage sportif ride, an outdoor hunter trials course and a USEF Medal-type hunter seat equitation course. Riders ride the same horse throughout the competition, and jumps do not exceed three feet in height. They also sit for a written test on riding theory and equine science. Teams may consist of two or three riders (with the lowest of the three scores dropped in each phase).
Competition was preceded by two days of schooling, with riders from each college assigned times to familiarize themselves and their horses with each of the venues. A coaches’ reception followed their meeting on Thursday evening, and a reception for parents was held Friday evening. The written test on Friday evening was won by Laura Hannink of Virginia Intermont with a score of 98 over Catherine Gregory of Goucher with a 97 and Amory Brandt, also of Goucher, with 94.1. Topping the team score for the written test was Goucher with 191.1 over Virginia Intermont with 188. Overall, eight riders aced the test with scores of 90 or above.
Saturday’s Dressage Sportif Phase was held in the beautifully manicured indoor ring. It included two jumps and movements such as counter canter, serpentines, backing, and turn on the haunches. Liz Koslow of Sweet Briar was the individual winner, with Jennifer Elroy of Centenary second and Kels Bonham third. SCAD was the winning team over Sweet Briar and Goucher.
On Sunday morning, coaches, judges, and spectators gathered on the hillside below the president’s house to watch riders and horses gallop across the rolling fields negotiating natural obstacles such as rails, aikens and a bank that comprised the Hunter Trials Equitation Phase. A smooth and flowing round put Karli Postel of Goucher in first place, followed by Laura Hannick and Kels Bonham. The team winner was SCAD over UVA and Virginia Intermont.
Following the Hunter Trials Equitation Phase, Sweet Briar provided a delicious buffet brunch in the tent overlooking the show jumping ring, and awards were made for the first three phases. In addition, two special awards were presented: to a surprised Kit Sydnor as the ANRC nominee for the USHJA Riding Instructor Award, and to an equally surprised Mimi Wroten (the competition Meet Director and ANRC Collegiate Chair) as the ANRC nominee for the USHJA Professional Service Award.
On Sunday afternoon, the Hunter Seat Equitation Phase, a USEF medal type course, was contested over a course designed by Glenn Moody of Charlottesville, VA, who also designed the Hunter Trials course. Spreads, combinations, and changes of directions challenged horses and rider. Kels Bonham won with an even and accurate ride over Sweet Briar’s Morganne Young and Virginia Intermont’s Jordan Shelburne.
At the conclusion of the Hunter Seat Equitation, riders and horses gathered in the show ring for the final awards ceremony. SCAD won the Betty Belser Memorial Trophy as the team champion, with Sweet Briar in reserve, UVA third, and Goucher fourth. Kels Bonham as the overall high point rider, received the Jon Conyers Memorial Trophy and the USHJA Affiliate Equitation Award. Morganne Young was a close second over Karli Postel and Paul Frederick. Two additional awards were presented. The ANRC nominee for the USHJA Collegiate Amateur Award went to Caroline Kramer of UVA. The ANRC Coaches’ Award for the person associated with Nationals who exemplifies sportsmanship, a willingness to help others, and a desire to make the competition a success was presented to Sara Fishback who served as Mimi’s assistant during the competition with efficiency and good humor. The awards ceremony was enhanced by special prizes donated by the competition’s many sponsors, including Charles Owens, Narrow Gate Tack, Dover Saddlery, County, Blue Ridge Equine Clinic, Paul Cronin, and Mimi Wroten. The Tailored Sportsman and Charles Owens donated items to the very popular silent auction.
Following the competition, it was determined that ten riders qualified for ANRC Level Three Certification by receiving a score of 70% or better in each of the riding phases, and at least 80% on the written test. These riders (Kels Bonham, Morganne Young, Karli Postel, Paul Frederick of SCAD, Laura Hannink, Grace Stuntz of UVA, Samantha Whitley of Centenary, Lauren Perhala of SBC, Caroline Kramer, and Harrison Shure of UVA) will receive their certificates in the mail. Harrison Shure is especially to be congratulated for his outstanding performance on an unfamiliar horse which was generously provided to him by Sweet Briar’s coach, Shelby French, when Harrison’s horse became ill on Saturday and was unable to compete.