The West Texas A&M Equestrian team will host the Hunt Seat Zone Championships at the WTAMU Equestrian Center on Saturday, April 9. The Lady Buffs will be well represented with six riders competing in seven events at the championships.
The riders qualified by being named region champion or reserve champion at the 2 Hunt Regional Championships hosted by Texas Tech in March. Cana Fitzgerald is the lone Lady Buff to have participated at last year’s championships where she finished third in the Beginner Walk Trot. She will participate in the Walk Trot Canter at this year’s championships after being named reserve champion at TTU.
Emilie Gardner is the lone WT rider competing in two events after finishing as region champion in the open flat and region reserve champion in the intermediate flat. Carley Hankins (Open Flat), Brittany Milam (Novice Fences) and Madison Heacock (Walk Trot) all enter the championships as the region champions in their respective events. Amber McCreery (Walk Trot) will also represent WT as they were the reserve region champions in their event.
The Lady Buffs compete in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences during Hunt Seat shows. The shows offer eight different levels. Similar to Western competitions, riders are placed in their level based on their previous show experience before their collegiate career. Equitation on the Flat is judged on how well the riders communicate their mounts and on their position. Flat classes are judged at the walk, trot, and canter. The judge may test the riders by asking for specific maneuvers or for a short pattern.
Equitation over Fences is also judged on position; however, riders are asked to complete a designated course over fences. The correctness and flow of the course is also judged. Novice, Intermediate, and Open classes may show on the flat and over fences. Novice classes have a more basic course while the degree of difficulty increases for the Intermediate and Open courses.
Be sure to follow ‘West Texas A&M Equestrian Team’ on Facebook for updated results throughout each show this season. Results and a recap of the event will be available on www.GoBuffsGo.com upon conclusion of the weekend’s shows