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Black Hawk College IHSA Western Equestrian Team Travels to Iowa State University


The Black Hawk College Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Western Equestrian Team kicked off its competitive season Sept. 24-25 by earning the high point title both days.  Twenty-three students traveled to Nevada, IA, for a competition hosted by the Iowa State University Equestrian Team.

Three students qualified for February’s Regional Championships that will be hosted by Black Hawk College:

  • Autumn Cary of Syracuse, NE, qualified in Level II Horsemanship and Ranch Riding
  • Samantha Lind of Maple Park, IL, qualified in Ranch Riding
  • Haley Bucher of Washington, IL, qualified in Rookie Horsemanship

Across seven divisions, 14 BHC riders claimed 16 first-place finishes:

  • Katie Aeschbach of Black Earth, WI
  • Haley Bucher
  • McKenna Bleem of Havana, IL
  • Autumn Cary
  • Morgan Culbertson of Bettendorf, IA
  • Kayla Jiras of North Liberty, IA
  • Kylee Larson of Beloit, WI
  • Samantha Lind
  • Makenna Pigeon of New London, IA
  • Kennedy Roth of Kalona, IA
  • Jordan Rydl of Boone, IA
  • Abby Schuning of Caledonia, IL
  • Grace Strief of Cascade, IA
  • Kurstin Walker of Gentry, AR

Other riders who placed:

  • Taegan Hanlin of Plainville, IL – 3rd
  • Connor Grunst of Spring Grove, IL – 2nd and 6th
  • Abbigail Froelich of Muscatine, IA – 7th

Students who traveled to assist the team:

  • Madeleine Baxa of New Lenox, IL
  • Karalyn Bryner of Kewanee, IL
  • Samantha Calvetti of Mount Juliet, TN
  • Josey Clem of Muncie, IL
  • Emily Eartly of Shorewood, IL
  • Addison Shireman of Argos, IN

“I was extremely grateful to have Drew Cotton help transport this large team,” said Bekah Irish, coach and assistant professor of equestrian science

“These students genuinely enjoy each other and their passion for pursuing excellence in horsemanship is evident,” she said. “I am excited for a great season!”

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