WMU equestrian team wins first-ever collegiate regional title

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of WMU Equestrian Team member riding a horse.

The team will compete in the zone championship March 28.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University Equestrian Team closed its regular season with at win at the University of Michigan that gave the WMU team its first regional title in the team's 22-year history.

The WMU team was high point team for 2014-15 out of 13 teams in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's Zone 6, Region 4.

A 'huge accomplishment'

"This is a huge accomplishment," says WMU Coach Rob Stewart. "It's like winning a MAC championship for a varsity team." The WMU team is a Registered Student Association that operates out of R. Stewart's Hunters and Jumpers in Hickory Corners.

Eight riders from the WMU team will compete March 28 at Kentucky's Morehead State University for the zone championship and a chance for riders to go on both individually and as a team to compete at the national level. The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's national championship begins April 30 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Photo of WMU Equestrian Team member Katie Stewart.

Katie Stewart

The eight riders on the WMU team who will compete at the zone level are Katie Anderson, Lauren Bules, Brenna Cooper, Jordan Musial, Hanna Pearson, Olivia Stagg, Katie Stewart and Emily Stewart.

Also at the U-M event where the team captured the regional title, WMU rider Katie Stewart of Hickory Corners qualified to compete nationally for the Cacchione Cup. It is the top individual award a collegiate rider can win and is named for the founder of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Bob Cacchione. Just one rider from each region can compete for the national title. Riders qualify by earning his or her region's highest point total in the IHSA's most advanced competitive division.

By qualifying for the Cacchione Cup at regionals, Stewart has locked in her invitation to compete at the national championship. She is the fourth WMU rider named a Cacchione Cup qualifier over the team's history. Stewart is a junior sales and business marketing major.

About the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association

The IHSA serves more than 400 college and university teams across the United States and parts of Canada, with more than 9,000 active riders. The nation is divided into eight geographic zones, and each zone has two to five regions within it.  The WMU team competes in Zone 6, Region 4, which includes all of Michigan and part of Ontario. In addition to U-M, other Region 4 schools are Adrian, Albion, Alma, Calvin and Hillsdale colleges; Central Michigan, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Michigan State and Saginaw Valley State universities; and the University of Western Ontario.

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