ATHENS, Ohio (May 3, 2007) -- Six members of Ohio University's two Athens-based equestrian teams are competing in the National Championship Horse Show that opens today in Springfield, Mass.
Kati Cibon, Hannah John-Conry, Jessa Moser and Whitney Yoder are in the Hunter Seat competition, while Becca Dingus and Rosie Fleming are competing in Western. The national contest runs through Sunday.
The university's Hunter Seat team won the national competition in 2002 and the regional championship in 2007. Hunter Seat, often called English riding, focuses on jumping. The Western team uses saddles with horns on the front, and riders dress in traditional Western style.
"I started riding when I was 7, and I joined Ohio University's team as a sophomore," said John-Conry, a senior and president of the equestrian team. "Competing at nationals means to me that I made it into the top 17 open riders in the country. Open is the top IHSA division."
Dingus, the only other senior competing in Massachusetts, joined the team her freshman year and serves as the team's secretary and the Western team's captain. She said she is thrilled to end her senior year on the equestrian team with a trip to nationals.
Cibon, a sophomore, will vie for the Cacchione Cup as the region's winner, which is awarded to the rider with the most combined points in the open flat and open fence competitions. This is the second straight year she has competed for this prestigious cup.
The Western team practices with Tony Kennedy at his farm in Tuppers Plains, Ohio, and the Hunt team practices with Karen Hiehle at her farm in Coolville, Ohio.
Ohio University is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, which sponsors the championship. Ohio University-Southern also has an equestrian team that is a part of the IHSA.
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Written by: Jessica Cuffman, a student writer with University Communications and Marketing
Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, 740-597-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org