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Jackrabbit equestrian signs six

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 12/13/2012 11:44:06
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The South Dakota State equestrian team signed four hunt seat riders and two western riders to national letters of intent, all of whom indicated their plans to enroll at South Dakota State in the fall of 2013 and compete for the Jackrabbit equestrian team.

The six signees include:

- Shannon Burbage - Hunt Seat, Frisco, Texas (Wakeland High School)
- Nicole Harvey - Western, Bozeman, Mont. (Bozeman High School)
- Natalie Howard - Hunt Seat, Temecula, Calif. (Great Oak High School)
- Maddie Lewis - Hunt Seat, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Roy C. Ketcham Senior High School)
- Makayla Reed - Western, Porterville, Calif. (Porterville High School)
- Blair Julia Wright - Hunt Seat, Frisco, Texas (Trinity Christian Academy)

"This is an extremely talented group of women," head coach Megan Rossiter said "We hope they can all come in and make an immediate impact as freshman."

Frisco, Texas, native Shannon Burbage earned numerous awards and championships with the North Texas Hunter Jumper Club in jumping and equitation. She also rides in the Texas Hunter Jumper Association, where she won several ribbons at AA rated shows, including qualifying for the Limit Medal finals in Katy, Texas.   

In addition to her riding skills, Burbage maintains a 3.9 grade-point average with a challenging AP course load, trains with Shannon Flanagan at Silent Knight Stables and currently works with her trainer as team captain for a new Interscholastic Equestrian Association team in Zone 7. She even trained her six-year-old green mare, and won numerous pre-green championships with her, and says, "We taught each other."

Western rider Nicole Harvey comes to South Dakota State from Bozeman, Mont., where she began riding at age 10. She competed throughout Montana and Colorado, with multiple significant accomplishments including; 2012 Montana Reining Horse Association Youth 14-18 year-end winner and 2011 Northern Rockies Reining Horse Association Youth 14-18 year-end winner.

Natalie Howard started competing five years ago and started the equestrian team at Great Oak High School in Temecula, Calif., during her freshman year. Her team competes in the San Diego Scholastic Equestrian League, where she earned numerous grand and reserve champion honors in jumpers and equitation flat since 2009.

The first student-athlete in the history of her high school to receive a varsity letter in equestrian, Howard enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program maintains a perfect 4.0 grade-point average as a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.

Poughkeepsie, N.Y., native Maddie Lewis competed in hunters and equitation at local and rated shows in the Northeast, accumulating numerous championships including; children's equitation series champion at Old Salem Farm and reserve champion in the equitation divisions at Sussex County Horse Show.

Porterville, Calif., native Makayla Reed brings a diverse background and show experience to the western team. Reed received numerous honors in American Quarter Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association and Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association shows, receiving national and state titles, including the prestigious AQHYA 2012 Youth World Reined Cow Horse Boxing Campion and Reserve World Boxing Champion.

In addition to her riding skills, Reed also stays Involved in the community through extracurricular activities including; Future Farmers of America, California Scholarship Federation and Link Crew Committee.

Blair Julia Wright attends Trinity Christian Academy in Frisco, Texas, and brings 12 years of riding experience in hunter, jumper and equitation events on both a regional and national level, with about 40 grand champion and 40 reserve champion honors to her credit. She also received numerous awards and honors in various shows throughout the country.


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