Bailey Forester, a freshman at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) recently attended the national competition for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). Forester placed fourth at the IHSA National Championship in Harrisburg, Pa. where she competed against 12 other riders from across the nation who all qualified through the regional and then semi-final competitions.
NEO’s Presidents Partners program provided $1,500 to cover travel expenses.
“Bailey represented NEO extremely well at nationals,” said Chelsie Huseman, NEO equestrian coach. “She proved that NEO Equestrian belongs at the national competition level, and for that we are very proud of her.”
Forester comes to NEO from Gallatin, Tenn. She rides for the equestrian team as an advanced rider. She has spent her life competing in equestrian events, which has contributed to her success while on the NEO equestrian team. She qualified for regionals in just one semester of competition, which is remarkable feat. On average, most riders take two years to get qualified.
“I'm so honored to have represented NEO at the national level. It was such a thrill to compete against so many high-quality riders. I had a great time and enjoyed every moment I was in Pennsylvania. I can't wait to start this whole process again next year,” Forester said.
As a team, NEO ended the season as the region’s reserve high point team. A record number of riders qualified for the regional competition (nine riders), and Forester was one who advanced to semi-finals and then nationals.
NEO will start their third year of competition this fall. They are hosting an IHSA show on Nov. 1, 2014 at the multipurpose arena.