Eight William Woods University students rode university-owned horses in the United Professional Horsemen’s Association American Royal Horse Show Nov. 18-22 in Kansas City, Mo. An additional seven competed on other horses.
Gayle Lampe, professor of equestrian science, also competed aboard her own horse, Callaway’s Born to Win. The pair took home the blue in both the Ladies Five-Gaited Geldings class and the Ladies Five-Gaited National Championship, which was the Pink Ribbon Class. This is the second year that Lampe has unanimously won the two-year-old Pink Ribbon Class, which this year raised $103,000 for breast cancer research.
Coached by Lampe and Laura Ward, assistant professor of equestrian science, the William Woods students garnered many awards, but they also returned with memories to last a lifetime.
According to Alexandra Layos, a senior from New Tripoli, Pa., riding at the American Royal was not about winning a ribbon, but about competing with some of the best show horses in the nation.
“It was just an incredible experience overall,” Layos said “It was an honor just to ride in Kemper Arena, knowing how many great horses and riders have trotted through that gate in years past. It’s a pretty amazing feeling, knowing that you’re competing against the best Saddlebred horses in the country, maybe even the world.”
Erica Mundt, a senior from Urbandale, Iowa, agreed, “I’ve never competed at that level before, so I didn’t even expect to get a ribbon. It was an honor just to be in the ring with horses of that caliber. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I won’t soon forget.”
Mundt paired with Red Oak’s Citation to take fourth in the Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Show Pleasure class and the American Saddlebred Five-Gaited Show Pleasure 18-38 Years class.
Layos teamed up with Callaway’s Abigail Adams to take eighth in the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Amateur or Junior Exhibitor class, and returned to garner sixth place in the Missouri-Kansas Junior or Amateur Exhibitor Stake.
Competing in the same division, fellow senior Erica Santa of Longmeadow, Mass., rode CH Sportster to a third place finish in both the qualifier and championship.
Kaitlyn Alemian, a junior from East Weymouth, Mass., rode Certainly a Star to a fifth place finish in the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Park class. The pair then rode on to claim the championship ribbon over a competitive field in the Missouri-Kansas Park Stake.
Kayla Kring, a senior from Louisville, Ky., rode Our Prince Charming to an eighth place ribbon in the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Park class, and fourth place in the respective championship.
A senior from Lee’s Summit, Mo., Kaitlin Short rode Champagne for Two to a second place finish in the Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Show Pleasure, and to a fifth place finish in the American Saddlebred Five-Gaited Show Pleasure 18-38 class.
Candice Boehm, a senior from Tehachapi, Calif., put Keep It Simple through his paces to earn sixth in both the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Amateur 18 and Over class and the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship.
Senior Nicole Wallace, of Grand Blanc, Mich., rode Valhalla’s King of Hearts to take third place in the Missouri-Kansas Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Amateur 18 and Over class.
A number of William Woods students also competed at the American Royal on horses that are not owned by the university. They include:
Sarah MacKenna, a senior from Warner, N.H., who rode Racing Stripes to 1st place in theMissouri-Kansas Three Gaited Park and Reserve Champion in the Missouri-Kansas Park Stake.
Freshman Emily Abbott of Zionsville, Ind., who rode At the Stroke of Midnight for 7th place in the Amateur Five Gaited Stallions/Geldings and 5th place in the Amateur Five-Gaited National Championship
Abbott also rode Callaway's Where There's a Will to 1st place in the American Saddlebred Five-Gaited Show Pleasure, 18-38 Year and Champion in the American Saddlebred Five-Gaited Adult Show Pleasure National Championship
Lauren Greenwald, a freshman from Houston, Texas, who rode Out Go The Lights for 6th place in the American Saddlebred Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor, 15-17 Years and 3rd place in the American Saddlebred Three-Gaited Show Pleasure National Championship, Junior Exhibitor 17 & Under.
Jesse West, a junior from Gaston, Ore., who led Born to Charm around the ring "in-hand" to take 7th place in the Missouri Breeders Challenge Weanling Stake.
Freshman Hannah Wiseman of Peculiar, Mo., who rodeLocal Girl to 6th place in the Missouri-Kansas Saddle Seat Equitation 17 and Under, 7th place in the American Saddlebred Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 15-17 Years and 7th place in the Saddle Seat Equitation 16 & 17 Years.
Another freshman, Katie Abraham of Garnett, Kan., who rode Callaway's Smooth Sailor to 5th place in the Missouri-Kansas Five Gaited Amateur or Junior Exhibitor and 5th place in the Missouri-Kansas Five-Gaited Stake, Amateur or Junior Exhibitor.
Cool Down Papa, owned by Kathryne Stief, a freshman from Seymour, Ill., took 1st place, Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure and 1st place Junior Exhibitor