Brookelynn Baber, a sophomore at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO), recently attended the western semi-finals competition for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). Baber swept the competition at the IHSA semi-finals in Lady Lake, Florida where she competed against 16 other riders from across the country who all qualified through regional competition. Her win qualified her for the IHSA national championship which will be held April 30-May 3 in Springfield, Massachusetts. NEO’s Presidents Partners program provided $1,500 to cover travel expenses. “I couldn’t have asked Brookelynn to perform any better while we were competing at semi-finals,” said Amanda Burrows, equestrian coach. “I told her to go for it, and leave it all in the arena and that is exactly what she did. I am so very proud of her and can’t wait to head to nationals.”
Baber comes to NEO from Owasso, Oklahoma. 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. Baber has been a member of the equestrian team for two years. She will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in applied science in equine farm and ranch management. She plans to stay and ride for NEO in the fall and transfer to Oklahoma State University in January 2016. “I am so grateful to be part of such a fantastic team and to have an amazing coach pushing all of us to be our best. I am honored to have been able to represent NEO at semi-finals, and I look forward to competing at the national level continuing to represent my school. It’s been a long road of hard work so far, but it has all definitely been worth it. I couldn’t ask to be a part of a better team,” Baber said.
As a team, NEO ended the season as the region’s reserve high point team. NEO once again had many individual riders qualify for regionals and sent eight riders. The top two placing riders in each division at regionals advanced to semi-finals where the top four qualify for nationals. From regionals, two riders, Baber and Martin Doustou, qualified for semi-finals and Baber was the one who advanced to nationals.