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The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Equestrian team was named the Reserve Semi-Finals Champions at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and earned its first ever trip to the National Championship Show in Syracuse, N.Y. on May 2-5. In addition to team qualification, four riders earned five individual qualifications to compete.

The IHSA encompasses 40 regions in eight zones and includes over 400 member colleges. NEO was one of nine teams and is the only two-year college to qualify for the Championship Show. NEO will compete against four-year institutions like Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Oregon State University, and others to try and capture the Team National Championship.

“I am so proud of how well NEO was represented at the 2019 Western Semi-Finals that was hosted by the University of Findlay. This team has a very unique dynamic and they lifted each other up through the entire competition,” said Amanda Jones, Equestrian Head Coach.  “Our goal was to leave it all out in the arena, ride every step, and get a team qualified on to Nationals and we have 9 extremely talented students who did just that!”

During the Semi-Final Show, athletes competed in both team and individuals competitions. Sophomore Carla Carfora from St. Amant, La., claimed Champion in Open Reigning and fourth place in Open Horsemanship, earning her a National Championship qualifying spot in each. Sophomore Sierra McCullough from Knoxville, Iowa, was named Reserve Champion in Novice Horsemanship, Sophomore Emma Kemp from Pryor, Okla., was named Reserve Champion in Beginner Horsemanship, and Sophomore Kayla Burns from Molalla, Ore., was named Champion in Beginner Horsemanship, each finish earning the riders National Championship qualification.

The team that earned the National Championship qualification included Freshman Anna Woolsey, Carfora, Freshman Ariana Horton, Sophomore Baily Summers, Freshman Katelyn Cates, and Freshman Derek Strawn.

For more information on the NEO Equestrian Program, contact Amanda Jones at Amanda.burrows@neo.edu.

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