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Dressage Team Wins Third Regional Championship

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
April 22, 2009

UNH’s Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team has won the northeast regional championships for the third consecutive time. The win earns the team a berth at the national championships at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, April 17 – 19, 2009. Last year, the team finished fourth in the national championships.

The UNH IDA team includes veterans Kimberly Guyer, a senior pre-vet major from Northborough, Mass., who is also team captain; and Casey Hoatson, a junior occupational therapy major from York, Maine. At the northeast regionals, Guyer was honored as regional reserve champion at first level and overall highpoint senior.

New on the team this year are Kaetryn Williams-Barnard, a senior outdoor education major from Lee; and Bridget Shea, a senior pre-vet major from Wilmington, Vt. Sarah Hamilton, director of the UNH Equine Program, coaches the team.

“I’m exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Three consecutive regional championships is a special achievement and all of the members of our team have contributed to this consistent success,” says Hamilton.

Dressage is a sport that can be likened to ballet for horse and rider; the famous Lippizan stallions of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna are an example of dressage at its highest level. Riders strive to systematically develop and improve the horse’s strength, flexibility, balance, gait and movement to create a harmonious partnership between horse and rider, with invisible communication.

Intercollegiate dressage competition has the added challenge that the rider must perform on an unfamiliar horse. Each college takes a turn hosting a show and provides all the horses for the riders of every team. In a true test of skill, tact and sensitivity, riders draw horses at random and have just 10 minutes to get to know the horse and try to establish a harmonious relationship with the animal. 

For more information on the Intercollegiate Dressage Association national championships, go to www.teamdressage.com.

The UNH Equine Program offers a bachelor’s degree in animal science that allows students to concentrate in one of the following three tracks: equine industry and management, therapeutic riding, or equine science. Classes include stable management, horse care, teaching, training, horsemanship, conformation, equine diseases, equine sports medicine, reproduction, nutrition and horse trials management. The Equine Program also has an active riding program which concentrates in dressage and eventing and two equestrian teams, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Team (hunt seat) and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association Team (dressage). Both teams had their best seasons ever this year. UNH hosts two nationally recognized horse trials and two nationally recognized dressage shows each year. UNH’s therapeutic riding program is recognized as a North American Riding for the Handicapped Association Premier Operating Center. UNH has an active Horsemen’s Club, as well as study abroad programs that include a week-long trip to Portugal for the concentrated study of classical dressage.

For more information on the UNH IDA team, go to http://www.equine.unh.edu/ida/. For information on the Equine Program, go to www.equine.unh.edu.


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