ANRC teams take first and third in nationals

| April 30, 2014

Sweet Briar’s 2014 ANRC Novice Division champion team. Photo by Al Cook.

It was a picture-perfect weekend for the 37th annual American National Riding Commission (ANRC) National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship, which was held Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27, at Sweet Briar College’s Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center.

The venue, weather and — most of all — the riding were just what renowned equestrian judge and show official George H. Morris could have hoped for.

“The ANRC is a great program,” said Morris, who also presented a lecture Sunday evening. “It upholds the value of the sport. This competition took me back to the good old days.”

It was a good weekend for the host riders, too, as the College’s National Division team placed third in its overall competition and the Novice team won the championship in its division. Finishing ahead of Sweet Briar in the National Division were Savannah College of Art and Design and Virginia Intermont College. SCAD also took second in the Novice Division, followed by Virginia Tech in third place.

Looking back on the weekend, Sweet Briar riding director Mimi Wroten, who coaches the national team and filled in as a last-minute co-coach of the novice team, extended a hearty “congratulations and well done!” to her riders.

“The champion novice team and third-place national team, with two overall individuals in the top ten of both divisions, shows that the students have worked hard on improving their knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of the Forward riding system,” Wroten said. “The experience they have gained in preparation for and during this competition will allow them to continue growing as lifelong equestrians.”

Sweet Briar’s ANRC National Division team

ANRC competition was created to promote the American System of Forward Riding, which is “based on the idea that the rider’s position or seat, control, and schooling of the horse are integral parts,” according to its website.

It’s an approach to riding that is sensitive to the horse’s natural movement and athleticism, and emphasizes the “rider’s ability to achieve a cooperative performance, allowing the horse to move forward freely with connected movement, while remaining calm and alert.”

The national championships are divided into four phases to evaluate the riders’ achievement of the training objectives: A written test on riding theory and equine science; a program ride in the flat; a hunter seat equitation medal course; and a derby-style equitation course over natural obstacles in a field. Each division allows riders to compete individually and as members of a team.

Accompanying Morris in the judge’s box were Kip Rosenthal and Marion Lee. Fourteen colleges and universities fielded many of their best horses and riders during the competition, making it an enjoyable experience for show steward Jill Randles.

“I had a great time serving as one of the stewards, along with Susan Sjolund, at the 2014 ANRC Championships,” Randles said. “It was a lovely event — great horses, great riders, a beautiful venue, a beautifully managed competition, and even great weather.”

Morris also appreciated the facilities, giving the entire works a thumbs-up.

“The campus, the buildings, the landscape, the rings, the jumps — all, if I graded it, would grade an A-plus,” he said.

Nor did he overlook the medal course designed by Glenn Moody: “This is a great course, simple but subtly difficult.”

The ANRC is affiliated with the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association. Participants were eligible for USHJA Affiliate Equitation awards. Both individuals and teams received honors and awards from the ANRC, USHJA and U.S. Equestrian Federation.

The National Division team results in order of placement are as follows:

Team written phase
Goucher College
Virginia Intermont
Sweet Briar

Program ride
SCAD
Centenary College
Sweet Briar

Derby phase
Virginia Intermont
Sweet Briar
SCAD

Medal phase
SCAD
Sewanee: The University of the South
Centenary College

The Novice Division team results in order of placement are as follows:

Written phase
Sweet Briar
Goucher
SCAD

Program ride
SCAD
Sweet Briar
Virginia Intermont

Derby phase
SCAD
Sweet Briar
Virginia Tech

Medal phase
Goucher
Virginia Tech
University of the South

In individual competition, Sweet Briar riders recorded the following top-10 finishes in the National Division:

Written phase
Olivia Smith ’14, first
Katie Drake ’14, eighth
Kathryne Richard ’15, ninth

Program ride
Abigail Strohmeyer ’16, sixth (riding SBC’s Patriot)
Olivia Smith ’14, seventh

Derby phase
Olivia Smith ’14, second (riding SBC’s Lord of the Dance)
Kathryne Richard ’15, eighth (riding SBC’s Love Z)
Abigail Strohmeyer ’16, ninth

Medal phase
Olivia Smith ’14, tenth

Overall National Individual Competition
Olivia Smith ’14, fourth
Abigail Strohmeyer ’16, tenth

In individual competition, Sweet Briar riders recorded the following top-10 finishes in the Novice Division:

Written phase
Alexandra Markmann ’17, second
Jenny Mix ’15, third
Olivia Fabian Slocum ’17, fourth
Haley Reeves ’16, eighth

Program ride
Alexandra Markmann ’17, sixth (riding SBC’s Indigo)
Jenny Mix ’15, eighth (riding SBC’s Oh so Fine)
Haley Reeves ’16, tenth (riding SBC’s Theodore)

Derby phase
Alexandra Markmann ’17, fifth
Jenny Mix ’15, ninth

Overall Novice Individual Competition
Alexandra Markmann ’17, reserve champion
Jenny Mix ’15, fourth 

 

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Category: Riding