Western Team

To find this Team's Results: Western_Results

Congratulations to the UWRF Western Team!


There were 7 riders who competed at IHSA Western Semi-Finals the weekend of March 29th in Canyon, Texas from University of Wisconsin- River Falls. With that many riders called for a busy weekend! The weekend started off with Sophomore Kayla Mack who qualified individually for Intermediate Horsemanship. She had a nice pattern and rail work and had to wait until the 2nd cut of that class in order to hear if she made the cut or not! The next class up was Junior Rider Carissa Beeksma showing in Individual Advanced. She rode a horse named Xander and had strong rail work and a good pattern, unfortunately Beeksma did not make the finals. Next class for UWRF was Team Novice, ridden by Mack who started off the team competition. She got the ball rolling and placed 3rd, after a few more classes she found that she had also made the Intermediate Finals which were held the next day. The last class of Saturday was Team Intermediate which was ridden by Sophomore Hannah Symbal. She had drew a horse named 'Honey' and got along really well. Symbal ended up 3rd in that class and the team rounded out Saturday in a tie for 2nd with Alfred University, now onto Sunday. Sunday started with the Team Open Reining, competing in that class was Senior NRHA competitor Alie Leonhart. Riding a horse named 'CJ', they had a solid ride with one lead penalty, ended up tying for 2nd, but lost the tie breaker and was 3rd in Open Reining. Next was Freshman APHA competitor Markie Maletzke to show in Team Advanced drawing 'Carlos'. She had strong rail work with a tough horse but when it came to the pattern she was allowed a re-test on a different, more fair horse. Maletzke placed 3rd in that class. After Team advanced, it was time for Mack to show once again, drawing the horse 'Fergy' for the 2nd time. She ended up Reserve Champion and is going to compete at Nationals individually! A few classes after that, Junior Elizabeth Kieffer was ready to compete in the Team Beginner class. This was the 3rd time the team drew 'Fergy', a bay mare graciously donated for the show. Kieffer had a stellar ride and was Champion of Team Beginner class, breaking the streak of 3rd places for the Team events! And it all came down to one rider, Senior ApHC competitor Kayla Gosz who would represent UWRF in the Team Open Horsemanship. At that time, the team was currently sitting in 2nd place, ahead of Alfred University and Ohio State University who were sitting 3rd and 4th. Gosz had a great ride on a horse named 'Buddy' in a very deep class and ended up placing 4th clenching the Reserve Champion Team and a ticket to Nationals.


The 2013-2014 Western Team achieved the IHSA Zone 7 Region 3 Highpoint Team for the year and is going to Semi-Finals!! This is the first time the UWRF Western Team has been highpoint team in 10 years. To achieve this the team showed at 9 shows and won 5 highpoint, and 2 Reserve Highpoint teams in those 9 shows. The team was behind North Dakota State University (NDSU) by 7 points coming into the last show of the season, which was held at UWRF. At the show held on March 1st at UWRF, the Team earned 35 points to beat NDSU who earned 26 points to clench the Region's Highpoint team as well as being Highpoint team that day (March 1st). Also Congratulations to Alie Leonhart for becoming AQHA Cup Rider for the 2nd year in a row, and will be going to Nationals! She was 2 points behind University of Minnesota- Twin Cities rider Kerry Hansen going into the last show. Showing  in the reining, she marked a 76 to beat the 8-deep class and came into the lead for AQHA Cup Rider, it then came down to Open horsemanship. Leonhart wins that class of 6, securing Highpoint Rider for the day and AQHA Cup Rider! Carissa Beeksma and Kayla Mack won their Regional Final's class and will compete at Semi-finals individually! Beeksma will compete in Advanced Horsemanship and Mack will compete in Intermediate Horsemanship at West Texas A&M University at the end of the month!


                Bailey Fernau                                 &                          Kayla Mack


Janie Huot (right)


The UW-River Falls Western Team competes in western riding through six levels of horsemanship and reining, 

Beginner- Walk Trot
Open Horsemanship
Open Reining

The Western Team practices on Monday and Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 at the Campus Lab Farm  1.

Coached by Janie Huot the past three years, the UWRF IHSA Western Show Team has sent riders to the Semi-Finals in Pomona, CA in 2009-10, Findlay, OH in 2010-11, Harington, DE in 2011-2012, and Moorehead, KY in 2012-2013 as well as Nationals in Harrisburg, PA in 2012-2013. UWRF IHSA Western Team members are challenged to be assured, more confident riders on unfamiliar horses. The UWRF horses are truly some of the best and the backbone of our program; priceless in their value to us and endeared to everyone who rides them. Janie emphasizes a team attitude and teaches using encouragement and involvement with each rider, helping them be the best rider possible at the level they are riding at.

Contact us or find us on Facebook to learn more about UW-River Falls Western Team!