STARKVILLE, Mississippi—Mississippi State’s equestrian team is celebrating a ribbon-filled year for its competitors, including a group of riders earning the best showing in school history.
Students divided between two horse-riding styles—English and Western—competed in six regular-season events this year through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, a national organization consisting of more than 400 member colleges and universities with a total of 10,000 members.
The English team started the season with a third-place finish—the highest in MSU team history at that time—and placed consistently in the top five throughout the regular season. The team finished as the reserve high-point team—or in second place—in the final regular season show. Alex Gordon, a senior animal and dairy science major from Chesterfield, Virginia, placed ninth in an individual competition at the Zone Championships in Savannah, Georgia.
MSU’s Western team placed either second or third overall in each of the six regular season shows, finishing as the reserve high-point team in the season’s final show. The group also finished as third high-point team in the Western region. Taylor Perry, a senior animal and dairy science major from Medina, Tennessee, placed sixth overall at the IHSA Western Semi-Final Championship in Lubbock, Texas.
“Our girls dominated with everyone walking away with a ribbon at nearly every show,” said Hannah Valigura, an agricultural science doctoral student who coaches the English riders. “The ribbons are great, but we’re here to develop better, more confident riders. I’ve seen a lot of blossoming this year. Some of our most timid riders made huge strides.”
Ashley Glenn, the equestrian team’s head coach, said she works with a group of students who always support each other.
“By far, this group is the nicest and most supportive group I have ever coached. They work hard and are dedicated to the team,” said Glenn, who also is the facilities supervisor for the university’s Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s Foundation Herds. “Everyone is proud of overall and individual successes amongst teammates.”
Members of the MSU equestrian team include:
Aberdeen—Lauren Wickline, a junior elementary education major
Auburn, Alabama—Elizabeth Kuykendall, a senior agricultural science major
Brookhaven—Kaitlin Beal, a senior animal and dairy science major
Cape Charles, Virginia—Payton Smith, a junior marketing major
Chalfont, Pennsylvania—Olivia Cresswell, a senior animal and dairy science major
Chesterfield, Virginia—Alex Gordon, a senior animal and dairy science major
Cleveland—Yasmeen Williams, a senior biochemistry major
Cypress, Texas—Emily Schomburg, a junior animal and dairy science major
Dallas, Georgia—Chloe Moody, a junior animal and dairy science major
Dawsonville, Georgia—Taylor Jernigan, a junior biochemistry major
Fennville, Missouri—Kacey Losik, a sophomore architecture major
Florence, Alabama—Alyssa Davis, a sophomore animal and dairy science major
Hazlehurst—Aliza Williams, a junior psychology major
Lake—Victoria Evans, a junior animal and dairy science major
Madison—Kate Rushton, a sophomore biological sciences major
Medina, Tennessee—Hannah Brasher, a junior animal and dairy science major, and Taylor Perry, a senior animal and dairy science major
Nashville, Tennessee—Lily Awalt, a junior educational psychology major, and Morgan Trotter, a junior geoscience major
Nettleton—Emily Shook, a senior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major
Olive Branch—Hannah Blalock and Mary Williams, both senior animal and dairy science majors
Ontario, Canada—Abby Fox, a sophomore animal and dairy science major
Pearl—Camryn Pike, a senior animal and dairy science major
Quebec, Canada—Alexia Levesque, a freshman civil engineering major
Slidell, Louisiana—Audrey Miceli, a sophomore animal and dairy science major
Texarkana, Texas—Shelby Boswell, a sophomore animal and dairy science major
Titus, Alabama—Allie Blackmon, a senior agricultural education, leadership and communication major
Vancleave—Ashley Herron, a senior animal and dairy science major
Villa Rica, Georgia—Hope Gaines, a senior elementary education major
Waterloo, Illinois—Valerie Webb, a junior special education major
For more information about the MSU equestrian team, visit www.ads.msstate.edu/eteam/about.html.
Visit www.ads.msstate.edu to learn more about the MSU College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.