UW-River Falls western team named region champs

Wisconsin State Farmer
The UW-River Falls IHSA Western Show Team was named Zone 7, Region 3 team champions for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Pictured are (front) coach Janie Huot. (back, from left) Jackie Bucher-Thayer, Kendyl Bennett, Kaycee Hatch, Erica Kolstad, Co-Captain Autumn Kappers, Co-Captain Danielle Paulson, Sydni Loose, Jessica Oldroyd, Rachel Shamro, Jennifer Lorenz, and Sammy Abrahamson.

Finishing 48 points in the lead after the final regular season show on Feb. 17, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) Western Show Team was named 2017-18 Zone 7 Region 3 Team Champions. 

The UW-River Falls team competed against eight other teams from the Midwest over the course of the 2017-18 season.

As team champions, one rider from each level will go on to compete in the semi-final competition in New York March 17 - 18. Individuals who were grand champion or reserve champion riders in their division will also advance.

Students and categories representing UW-River Falls at the semi-finals are:

  • Open Reining – Danielle Paulson (animal science major from Pine Island, Minn.)
  • Open Horsemanship – Autumn Kappers (animal science major from Spring Valley, Minn.), Danielle Paulson (animal science major from Pine Island, Minn.)
  • Advanced Horsemanship – Jackie Bucher-Thayer (agricultural business major from Ridgeland), Jennifer Lorenz (agricultural business major from Onalaska), Rachel Shamro (agricultural business major from Hayward)
  • Novice Horsemanship – Sydni Loose (animal science major from Cedar Grove), Kaycee Hatch (animal science major from Racine)
  • Intermediate Horsemanship – Kendyl Bennett (accounting major from Preston, Minn.), Erica Kolstad (animal science major from Elk River, Minn.
  • Beginner Horsemanship – Sammy Abrahamson (agricultural education major from Minneapolis), Jessica Oldroyd (psychology major from River Falls)

The semi-finals in New York are one of three semi-final competitions going on around the country. The top three overall placing teams and the top first through fourth placing individuals at semi-finals will advance to the IHSA national championship in Harrisburg, Penn., May 5-6.

Danielle Paulson, the AQHA Cup Champion (high point rider) for 2017-18, accumulated 100 points in open reining and open horsemanship so she advances directly to nationals.

For more information, email Coach Janie Huot at or call 715-425-3523.