Two Jackrabbits headed to WEF
South Dakota State senior equestrians Megan Violand and junior Santana Wright travel to Wellington, Fla., on Friday to compete in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association's fourth annual Collegiate Equitation Challenge hosted at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center at 2 p.m. ET.
Both Violand and Wright represented the Jackrabbits at the Winter Equestrian Festival in their respective sophomore years. Wright returns to the fences arena this year, while Violand competes in equitation on the flat.
"I'm so excited to come back and have another go at the Collegiate Challenge. Last year was an amazing experience," Wright said. "And this year will be even better, because I get to share the experience with a fantastic teammate like Megan."
Port Hope, Ontario, native, Wright enters the arena with a 3-5 record over fences this season, with an MOP award against then-No. 9 New Mexico State.
Violand, who hails from Moorpark, Calif., steps into the flat arena with a winning 4-3 mark in equitation on the flat, with MOP honors against UM-Crookston and UT-Martin.
"Being able to represent the Jackrabbits at WEF for a second time is an incredible honor,"
Violand said. "And I can't imagine sharing this time with a more talented teammate."
Assistant coach Kamerra Brown expects big things for the Jackrabbit riders as well.
"I feel these girls are more than prepared for Friday's competition. Both are exceptional and deserve to represent South Dakota State at this prestigious event," Brown said. "I'm very excited for both of our student-athletes!"
Both riders travel to WEF as excellent representatives of Jackrabbit equestrian and look to put in strong rides in the arena. Check out the Jackrabbit Equestrian Facebook page and Twitter account (@JackrabbitEQ), along with the NCEA Facebook page and the NCEA Twitter page (@NCEA_Equestrian) for live updates during the competition.
About the NCEA Collegiate Equitation Challenge:
The competition begins at 2 p.m. ET with the preliminary round. Sixteen riders compete in NCEA format, riding bracket-style in head to head competition. Each rider competes over a predetermined course of fences set at a maximum height of three feet six inches.
The top eight riders continue on to the final bracket, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, while the bottom eight riders compete in the consolation bracket directly after the preliminary round.
The overall champion takes home a trophy, sponsored by the South Florida Hunter Jumper association, while the winner of the consolation bracket receives a trophy donated by Pierre and Martha Jolicoeur.
During the final round of the fences competition, four riders compete in equitation on the flat tournament.
All horses used in this competition are loaned from local professionals and have never before been ridden by any of the competitors.