Equestrian teams end year on high note


Lake Erie College’s IDA and IHSA English teams both competed at their respective national competitions this spring, marking the end of an impressive academic year for all involved.


The Lake Erie College IDA team had a stellar performance at IDA Nationals, particularly with the USDF/IDA Quiz Challenge wherein LEC students won all possible accolades. The results listed below speak for themselves:

USDF/IDA Quiz Challenge

First Level Division: Renee Monzon, 1st place
Upper Training Division: Giuliana Raggio, 1st place
Lower Training Division: Elizabeth Affeld, 1st place and Alexa Clark, 2nd place
Elizabeth Affeld also won Grand Champion of the Quiz Challenge, meaning she had the highest score out of anybody in the Quiz. As Grand Champion, she won a month-long internship at Hilltop Farm, which she will be completing this summer. LEC won every division except for Intro, which was the only division in which the team did not have an entry!

As far as the team competition went, LEC’s IDA riders certainly made their mark this year as they placed 7th overall in the nation! The team riders received the following placings for each of their rides:

First: Renee Monzon, 8th place
Upper Training: Giuliana Raggio, 2nd place
Lower Training: Elizabeth Affeld, 11th place
Introductory: Hannah Lujbli, 8th place

Prizes awarded to each team member and coach were a Zoetis vest and DSB boots or whip.

IDA Nationals also included a day for individual national qualifiers to compete. LEC’s Giuliana Raggio qualified in the Upper Training division and landed in 9th place, receiving a saddle pad and an Ovation helmet as prizes.

Lake Erie College is proud to have ranked 7th in nation as a team with an individual rider from LEC as the 9th best Upper Training IDA rider in the country. The team will miss member Renee Monzon who is graduating and moving on to law school, but they wish her the best of luck in her new ventures!

Having a team that has now experience at IDA Nationals should make for an extremely competitive year in 2017/2018. We look forward to see what our current riders, new recruits and coach Debby Savage will bring us next year!


The IHSA hunt seat team persevered through a highly competitive year under the direction of coach Mary Pardee. The team landed as the Regional Reserve Champion team this year with several riders qualified for Nationals as individuals including the Zone VI Region I Cacchione Cup representative for the fourth year in a row and the sixth time since 2010!

After a long weekend at IHSA Nationals, our riders and coach Mary Pardee returned home with an array of colorful ribbons, awards and great memories.

Sammy Rothman was among the top riders in the country as the Zone VI Region I Cacchione Cup representative and rode the horse she was assigned quite beautifully. She held her own at that level of competition despite her relative novice as a freshman! Sophie Sahutske ranked 9th in the country in Intermediate Fences after having claimed 8th place in Novice Fences in 2015. Lissy Naber was one of the top 16 riders in the country in Novice Flat, as was alumni rider and assistant coach Alexis Barter in the Alumni Fences division.

We cannot wait to see what unfolds next year for our IHSA Hunt Seat team as we have built up quite an impressive roster and the team continues to grow. The team will miss valued member Sophie Sahutske who graduated this spring, but has no doubt that Sophie will continue to grow into the type of professional that will prove the value and integrity of our program, as our alumni so often do.

Our students will not only be remembered for the work they’ve done and the goals they’ve accomplished during their undergraduate years here at LEC, but also for whom they will become long after they’ve handed in that last assignment and said goodbye to their favorite school horses. The legacy that these students leave behind will remain in our halls forever.

For more information on our equestrian teams’ accomplishments, contact Cami Blanchard at cblanchard@lec.edu.

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