A Day To Celebrate Success
April 28, 2012
By Kelly Mason
By Kelly Mason
FRESNO, Calif. - - It was a day to celebrate season highlights, team and individual accomplishments for the Fresno State equestrian team at its end of the year banquet. Following the reception, the festivities continued at the Fresno State Student Horse Center as the equestrian program gathered to celebrate the unveiling of the brand new electronic scoreboard.
The Fresno State team was joined by family and friends at the banquet to support the Bulldogs in honoring their season. The coaches started the ceremony by reflecting on the best moments from the 2011-12 season, a season that was truly a special one.
"We knew this team was going to be a special team when we started last fall," said Head Western coach Stephanie Reeves. "This team is really such a tight-knit community and that was so obvious to see from the beginning of the year."
The team chemistry lead to great performances in the arena as the Bulldogs went undefeated at home for the season and evident when they won the title "Best in the West."
"I am very proud of the consistent time, effort and energy that this team put into its season," said Head Hunt Seat coach Julia Scrivani. "This year we put ourselves out there and continued to strive for the top, and they did when they qualified in both Hunt Seat and Western for the NCEA National Championships."
In honoring the successful season, the coaches had a variety of awards to hand out to the team. There were four awards that the team voted on: Rookie of the Year, Most Improved (Hunt Seat and Western), Workhorse, and Sportsmanship.
The "Rookie of the Year" award honored the rider who came in and made an immediate contribution to the program and that was Lauren Crivelli. The "Most Improved" award recognized a rider from both Hunt Seat and Western that improved the most throughout the season and the winners were Macy Wilson (Hunt Seat) and Bryn Boyett (Western).
Lanie Madrazo won the "Workhorse" award which recognized the rider that goes above and beyond, always putting their best foot forward in the arena, the barn, competition and community. The "Sportsmanship" award honored the rider who exemplifies sportsmanship in all aspects of competition, classroom and in the gym and this award went to Holly Elsbernd who also won the "Award of Excellence" that was given by the coaches.
The coaches highlighted the first ever Fresno State NCEA All-American Macy Wilson as well as the Honorable Mention All-Americans, Crivelli and Kimberly HewsonBudnik. There was also a new award created this season by the NCEA to recognize the outstanding academics of the collegiate equestrian teams.
Fresno State honored 10 Academic All-Americans with first team honorees Hillary West and Lauren Carr, second team honorees Elsbernd, Whitney Kittle, and Sammie Jo Stone and honorable mentions in Sydney Coletti, Sonya Koch, Shawna McClurg, Nicole Roworth and Rio Haack.
The Fresno State equestrian team also highlighted its nine seniors: Tylinda Arthur, Carolyn Carter, Holly Elsbernd, Allison Mackey, Shawna McClurg, Nicole Roworth, Kimberly Steinbuch, Sammie Jo Stone and Allie Warkentin.
"These seniors made the commitment, two, three or four years ago to be a part of this team, not knowing exactly what kind of commitment they were making," said Scrivani. "These nine ladies put in the time, effort and energy into every aspect of the program and built great character through it all. They were a huge part of this special team and they made wonderful things happen."
After the banquet concluded with a few more academic and MVP awards the team, friends and family all were invited over to the Fresno State Student Horse Center to unveil the electronic scoreboard. It was a capitol project spearhead by The Saddle Club that took three years to fundraise exclusively through private funds.
The unveiling of the scoreboard was a very special moment that ignited celebration. The Saddle Club members were all there, the team, President Welty, as well as many fans that came to see the beautiful new scoreboard that will elevate Fresno State equestrian to a very fan-friendly, interactive sport.
This day of celebration concluded the 2011-12 season for the Fresno State equestrian team and will now prepare for the 2012-13 season.
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