Lake Erie College intercollegiate equestrian teams and riders headed to nationals


Lake Erie College’s proud tradition of equestrian excellence continued this year with an exceptional season of accomplishments for our teams and riders. In particular, this year’s intercollegiate and Prix de Villes teams won an impressive number of awards.


Congratulations are in order for the IDA team and coach Debby Savage who ended their season as the Reserve Champion team in the region! This placement automatically earned them the Wild Card position for IDA Nationals. IDA Nationals will take place April 29-30, 2017 at Centenary College in New Jersey.

Riding for the team at Nationals are Renee Monzon, Giuliana Raggio, Hannah Lujbli and Elizabeth Affeld. Giuliana has also qualified to compete as an individual at the competition. IDA Nationals is home of the USDF/IDA Quiz Challenge in which Renee Monzon placed second in 2016. This year, Renee returns in hope of claiming the Championship title; she will be joined by teammates Giuliana Raggio, Elizabeth Affeld and Alexa Clark.

The following IDA riders received the following region year end awards:

Renee Monzon, First Level, Reserve Champion
Giuliana Raggio, Upper Training, Reserve Champion
Anna Laino, Upper Training, 4th place
Elizabeth Affeld, Lower Training, Reserve Champion
McKenna Barnes, Lower Training, 6th place
Hannah Lujbli, Introductory, 3rd place
Morgan Blanyer, Introductory, 5th place


Lake Erie College is incredibly proud of the IHSA hunt seat team and coach Mary Pardee. The team landed as the Regional Reserve Champion team this year with freshman Sammy Rothman heading to IHSA Nationals as the Zone 6 Region 1 Cacchione Cup representative! Also headed to Nationals are:

Sophie Sahutske - Intermediate Fences
Lissy Naber - Novice Flat
Assistant coach Alexis Barter - Alumni Fences

These students are among the top 16 riders in the country for their respective divisions. This is the fourth year in a row that the Cacchione Cup representative for our region has been a Lake Erie College student, and the sixth time since 2010.

Prix de Villes

This year’s Prix de Villes came and went in a flash. A great deal of preparation goes into these prestigious horse shows by management, staff, students, riders and horses. The efforts of the Lake Erie community were apparent this year as our riders cleaned up at both Prix de Villes with Lake Erie teams winning both the team jumper and team dressage competitions!

The Lake Erie College jumper team coached by Mary Pardee, cleverly named Mary’s Party, won top honors in the low team division. Gracing the podium were the rider and team combinations of Sarah Dwyer riding Pogo Avantos, Maggie Brink on Four Roses, Lissy Naber riding Donell and Sophie Sahutske on Reiki.

Lake Erie College riders were also a force to be reckoned in the in the Jr/Amatuer Hunter Derby sponsored by Chagrin Saddlery. It was a fairly large class consisting of nearly 20 riders and our students and school horses held their own against top trainers and their riders! Tiphani Beckett rode Flamenco, a last minute change and pulled out a fourth place. Also competing in the Jr/Amateur Hunter Derby were Kalie Pettet and Checkmate along with Emily Bluedorn and Wizard of Oz. In the end it was freshman Sammy Rothman who took the blue with her own horse Crossgates Taylor Made only to return the next day and ride on an Emerging Jumper team with this same horse. Student Sophie Clymer joined that same Emerging Jumper team with school horse Color Me Ziggy.

Students were also in full force for the Open Hunter Derby sponsored by Schneider Saddlery with Sammy Rothman this time as the Reserve Champion on her horse Danika K right on the heels of classmate Maddie Pilz and school horse Redtail Finnigan as this year’s Champion. Sammy and Maddie also won multiple top placings in some of the schooling classes over the weekend.

Competing in the schooling classes that were also offered during the Prix de Villes weekend were Kalie Pettet and Checkmate, taking 3rd and 4th in the low adult hunter over fences classes with fellow student Emily Bluedorn pulling a 1st and 5th place in the low adult hunter division on Wizard of Oz. Also competing riding Ocean View was Ketki Hotaling ending her weekend with one 1st and two 2nd places in the Intermediate children’s/adult jumper division classes while Cassie Papciak rode her own horse Top Gun in the 2’3” schooling jumper division. Sarah O’Hare rode school horse Copper Canyon in the limit rider hunter division and won her Limit Flat Equitation class. What a great weekend for our students!

Sammy Rothman was this year’s recipient of the Charles E Kinney Jumper Style Award. This award is given to the rider who exhibits the best classical jumper style of riding throughout the jumper classes over the weekend.

And last but certainly not least, we congratulate our winning Dressage Prix de Villes team LEC Perfect Storm coached by Debby Savage on their second team win in a row! The horse/rider pairs for our team this year consisted of Elizabeth Affeld riding Chasing the Storm, Renee Monzon riding Wingman, McKenna Barnes on Alpenrose and Giuliana Raggio on board Jibouti. Giuliana obtained a score of 71.296% on Jibouti which earned her a Training –Second level Reserve Champion award and membership in coach Savage’s 70% club. Giuliana has now earned all of the first level scores that she needs to go toward earning her Bronze Medal! Also joining the 70% club was the rider/horse pair of McKenna Barns and Alpenrose with an impressive 71.961% which earned her the Low Individual Championship title. McKenna was also the recipient of the Veronica Holt Memorial Youth Rider Award which is given to the youth rider with the best performance in a dressage test ridden on Saturday of the Dressage Prix weekend.

We are fortunate to have such dedicated riders who continue to impress us with their hard work, sportsmanship and passion for this sport.

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