Lexington, Va. - The Transylvania University eventing team competed this weekend in the season-culminating National Intercollegiate Eventing Championships from Friday through Sunday, May 25-27 at the Virginia Horse Center.
Competing against the backdrop of the rolling hills of the Virginia Horse Center, the Pioneer riders faced some of the best NCAA Division I schools in the country, including Auburn, the University of Kentucky, University of Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, University of Florida, and Texas A&M.
Other schools in contention for the championship included James Madison University, Randolph-Macon College, North Carolina State, University of Maryland, University of South Carolina-Aiken, Findlay, Texas Christian University, and the University of Virginia, for a total of 18 schools and 24 teams.
Transylvania eventing sophomore Lauren Nunn and her Canadian Sporthorse gelding "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" started the weekend strong with an impressive dressage score of 30.2 in the Novice division.
Freshman Amanda Haw and "With Perseverance" put in a great ride to go double clear on a challenging Beginner Novice cross country course.
Junior Abby Blackburn and her mare "Dior HH" finished out their weekend by jumping double clear on a tricky show jumping course, moving them up to a third-place finish individually in an Open Beginner Novice division of 20 horses.
Transy was an underdog team, competing with only three riders after an injury to sophomore Stevee Candrl's horse "Island Jet" earlier in the spring knocked him out of the competition. This meant that the team had no "drop score", as on a full four-rider team, only the top three scores are counted in team scoring. Even so, the team finished in 11th, the highest placed three-rider team, just outside a top-10 list composed almost entirely of Division I schools.
The team will be working hard this summer to sharpen their skills, and looks forward to starting the fall 2018 season in September at Jump Start Horse Trials, at home at the Kentucky Horse Park in Georgetown, Kentucky.