Contacts: Dr. Dennis Sigler, 979-862-3595, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Pilger, email@example.com
LOVELAND, Colo. – The Texas A&M University Stock Horse team was named the 2014 National Champion Collegiate Stock Horse Team at the American Stock Horse Association Intercollegiate Championship Show held recently in Loveland, Colo.
The Texas A&M team was undefeated throughout this season. The team also has won the American Stock Horse Association National Champion title two out of the last three years, while earning Reserve National Champion titles in 2011 and 2013.
On April 11-12 the Aggies bested the competition by earning the highest overall team scores in their division and won all three overall individual championships. Texas A&M defeated second place Texas Tech by 39 points, followed by Tarleton State, North Central Texas College and New Mexico State University, respectively. A total of thirteen colleges competed at the National Show.
The Stock Horse Team consists of six members who ride individual horses and compete in four separate events: stock horse pleasure, trail, reining and working cow horse. Students are divided into three divisions based on their previous show experience and years of riding: non-pro, limited non-pro and novice.
This year’s team consists of Haley Birkenfeld, freshman from Nazareth; Ryan Birkenfeld, senior from Nazareth; Anna Haines, senior from San Antonio; Derby Jones, junior from College Station; Kyla Kalinowski, sophomore from Schertz; and Kimberly Pritchett, senior from Joshua. Alternates who have also been practicing with the team all semester and who have shown in previous competitions were Sarah Savage, freshman from Boerne, Helen Hardy, senior from Georgetown; and Michelle Wilkinson, graduate student from Montgomery.
The team is coached by Dr. Dennis Sigler, professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horse specialist, and Raul Valdez, graduate assistant in animal science.
In individual competition, Ryan Birkenfeld earned overall high point champion non-pro division rider followed by Haines in reserve. Pritchett won overall high point champion limited non-pro rider, followed by Jones in third place. Kalinowski earned overall high point champion novice division rider followed by Haley Birkenfeld in third place.
“The successes realized by this year’s team is a direct result of extremely hard-working and dedicated students, well-trained horses for the students to learn on, and previous outstanding educational efforts on the part of several faculty and graduate students in animal science,” Sigler said.
The 2013-2014 team travel to the National Show was made possible through sponsorships by the Schiller Ranch in College Station and the Gemelli Group of Malibu, Calif.