January 8, 2014

Two riders at top of national standings

By Barbara Baker

The American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) held a national show in Denver in early December and included in these activities was the Region 5 Championship Collegiate Show for the Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska Stock Horse Association (CoWN, an affiliate of the ASHA) which included competitors from nine states. Students from Northeastern Junior College’s Ranch Horse Versatility Show Team competed and several came away with top honors in the regional competition.

Coached by Northeastern’s Equine Management Program Director Cole Briggs and his volunteer coaching assistant Emily Parry, seven NJC students competed.  Parry, of Iliff, was recently featured in the local media for having herself won a saddle at the national show. A past graduate of Northeastern, Parry has been a strong mentor and assistant coach at the college and has done a great deal to help grow the Versatility Ranch Horse Club program on campus.

In the regional collegiate competition, Bryson Wagner of Amherst, NE, a sophomore at NJC, riding Beaus Gotta Victory, captured first place in the Novice Trail Collegiate Competition and had several other top ten rankings. Maegan Kelly, an NJC sophomore from Bullard, TX, atop her horse named The Texas Judge, took second place in the regional competition in both the Limited Non Pro Pleasure category and the Limited Non Pro Cow Horse Collegiate category. She also ranked third in the region for the Limited Non-Pro All Around standings. 

In addition to  Wagner and Kelly’s top spots, three other students made top ten showings in their respective events, including Lindsay Soule of Harrisburg, NE, an NJC sophomore riding DC Gray Maxie, who earned fourth place in the Novice Pleasure Collegiate category.  Michelle Klein, an NJC sophomore from Pueblo, won fourth in the region in Novice Reining Collegiate and fifth in Novice Cow Horse Collegiate competition aboard Wb Revas Comanche.  The fifth  NJC contestant at the Denver contest receiving a top ten standing was freshman student Carly Dyer of Eaton, CO riding  Poco Twistin Disco, who placed sixth in Novice Trail Collegiate and seventh in Novice Cow Horse Collegiate categories.

Other NJC team members competing were sophomore Olivia Klinzmann of LaPorte, CO riding  Smoky Pink Champagne and Noah Smith, a freshmen from Brighton riding Bluje Jo Apache. 

The competition places significant weight on good breeding and has its own horse registry in place, different from the American Quarter Horse Association although AQHA registered horses often compete alongside the ASHA registered entries.

Kelly and Wagner are both very active in the ASHA year round and according to the ASHA website, Kelly is now currently ranked top in the nation in the standings for Collegiate Limited Non Pro All Around. Wagner is ranked third in the nation in the Collegiate Limited Novice Non Pro All Around standings.

The ASHA was chartered as a non-profit organization in 2008. The Association is dedicated to enhancing the pleasure of owning and riding horses through creating better horses and horsemen. The mission of the Association is simple: help people ride a better horse.  This type of non-traditional horse competition activity has experienced unparalleled growth in the past few years. A number of colleges and universities across the nation cooperate with ASHA as part of its Collegiate Stock Horse Versatility Education Program. There is also a Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska Stock Horse Association with which Northeastern Junior College is associated.