It has been two years since Averett University put in a bid to host IDA Nationals. This April, the school had the great honor of hosting the 13th Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championships. Twenty four schools from all corners of the country traveled to Chatham to compete at the Olde Dominion Agriculture Complex, bringing nearly 100 riders.
Saturday morning, Individual Day, began promptly at 8 a.m., with the First Level division. Averett's own Shannon Stone was the first rider of the day. Stone, a senior, performed beautifully on Averett mount, Brooke, earning a well-deserved 69.27 percent. Shannon finished in second place, just .085 percent behind the first place rider.
At Upper Training, senior Lindsey Baker finished with a solid 67.2 percent. Just .7 percent behind the next score, Baker placed seventh. Averett's second rider at Upper Training, freshman Amanda Arnold, handled a tough ride incredibly well and finished in tenth place with a 65.2 percent.
Averett's last rider for individual day was senior Catherine Doane at Lower Training. Doane rode well, finishing in twelfth place, with a 62.917 percent.
Sunday was the event's Team Day, where the scores of the riders at each level are totaled up to give the team the overall final score.
At First Level, Shannon Stone finished with a 67.027 percent, earning her seventh place, with six points towards the overall team score.
At Upper training, Amanda Arnold earned a 67.5 percent, placing her in seventh, and also giving the team six points.
At Introductory Level, Sophomore Sydney Owen piloted Averett's own Cooper to an outstanding 72.5 percent, earning second place and delivering 11 points to the team.
At Lower Training, Catherine Doane tied with the rider from Miami University of Ohio, both earning a 67.188 percent. Ultimately, Doane placed eighth, due to the differences in the judges' collective marks on the score sheets. Her results gave the team five points.
After adding up the team points, Averett was tied with the University of Connecticut. Due to this, the scorers had to compare the percentage points of each ride and compare the final average. The University of Connecticut's average came to be 68.726 percent, while Averett's ended up at 68.554 percent. At the end of the day, Averett finished in sixth place, behind UConn, Delaware Valley College, Mount Holyoke College, Reserve Champions Otterbein University, and the 2014 IDA National Champions Virginia Intermont College.
Over the course of the four days that visiting schools were at the Olde Dominion Agriculture Complex, all proclaimed that this year's Championship was by far the best in all 13 years of its history. Averett is incredibly proud of the five riders who competed, but the University is so thankful for the support and dedication of the equestrian studies department, the volunteers and our sponsors. The entire week was a massive success, and truly was only pulled off thanks to the dedicated people behind the scenes.
Averett hopes to once again host IDA Nationals, and thanks to the performance of the riders and the diligence of the volunteers, it seems to be a very real possibility.
For more pictures from the event, visit the equestrian studies department's Facebook page by clicking here.
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