UNH Horse Team Ranked Number One in the Nation: Will Host First Annual Intercollegiate Dressage Show Nov. 17

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau
(603) 862-1566

November 13, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire Intercollegiate Dressage Team is ranked number one in the country, due to outstanding performance throughout the season.

The team placed first among a field of 12 teams at Dartmouth College, third in a competition at Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Mass., and were reserve champions at a Johnson & Wales College competition in Rehoboth, Mass.

UNH riders Amanda McNeil of Milford, Mass., first level, and Karey Manner of Swiftwater, Penn., upper training level, are the top ranked riders in the country in their respective divisions. Additional members of the team include Sara Costa of Boxford, Mass., and Abby White of Wallingford, Vt.

Dressage, often described as ballet or figure-skating on horseback, is a demonstration of grace and beauty that is produced by the seamless communication and harmony between horse and rider. Achieving excellence requires years of dedication from horse and rider.

The team has its sights set on the nationals held at Virginia Intermont College, but before that fans and horse enthusiasts will have an opportunity to see the team in action Sunday, Nov. 17, when the UNH Horsemen's Club hosts its first annual Intercollegiate Dressage Show.

The event takes place at the university's equine facility on Mast Road in Durham. Competition commences at 8 a.m., and teams will be featured from Dartmouth College, Mount Ida College, Cazanovia College, Mount Holyoke and others.

The premise of the intercollegiate teams is to reduce the costs of competition by having the host school provide the horses. Riders are given 10 minutes to warm-up and get to know their horse, and then they are sent into the ring to compete. It is the ultimate test of a rider's ability to adapt and perform well on a strange horse.

This also will be the debut competition for the second UNH Dressage Team. A school must host a show in order for it to be allowed to field a second team. Each team consists of four members and each competes in one of the following levels -- introductory level, lower training, upper training and first level.

Concessions will be available at the show, and proceeds will go to the UNH Horsemen's Club.

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