Tiffin University's equestrian program witnessed a little bit of history on April 8, as Carolyn McCurrach became the first TU hunt seat rider to reach the National Finals.
McCurrach, a sophomore Hunt seat rider, was Reserve Champion at the Hunt Zones tournament. She will now advance to the IHSA Nationals May 4-7 in Lexington, Kentucky.
The season has been a mixture of challenges and breakthroughs for the Novice Fence Rider. Carrie competed in a class of the top 8 novice riders at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone 6 Finals, held at the University of Findlay. Zone 6 includes every college in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. In a very competitive class with challenging horses, Carrie rode strongly to bring home the reserve champion title for Tiffin University. Receiving the reserve champion title in this division qualifies her for the National Competition in Lexington, Kentucky. The National IHSA Competition will be held May 4-7th at the Kentucky Horse Park, and includes finalists from all schools in the United States that host Equestrian teams. McCurrach qualifying for nationals is a first in the over fences division for the Tiffin University Equestrian Team.
Coach Jenny Steinmetz said, "I am very proud of Carrie today. She rode against tough riders from Ohio State, Michigan State, Grand Valley and The University of Kentucky. Her horse, Brussels, was a tough draw. She has drawn him in the past and had difficulties with him, but today she really figured out the ride, and I am just as proud of that as I am of her qualifying for nationals."
Coach Julie Vogel said, "Carrie is a talented rider that was able to really have things come together for her today. I am so proud of her as she continues on her postseason journey to Nationals!"
Carrie McCurrah said, "I can't thank my coaches, teammates, and family enough for all of their support. I've worked hard for a long time and it feels really good to have it pay off. I'm very thankful to be able to represent Tiffin at Nationals and continue to spread a love of this sport."
TU was last represented at IHSA Nationals by Eric Pettigrew in Western Beginner Horsemanship in 2009.