Courtesy of American Quarter Horse Association
Baylor University’s Abbi Demel took home the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge champion title at the 2017 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.
Mounted on unfamiliar American Quarter Horses, 16 collegiate equestrian riders squared off in the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge November 11-12 during the 2017 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.
Eight student-athletes from the National Collegiate Equestrian Association and eight from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association were selected by their respective organizations to showcase their skills in the challenge. Competition featured a mixture of NCEA and IHSA formats, with the end goal being one rider crowned the best collegiate horsemanship rider in the country.
Winning the 2017 AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge was Abbi Demel from Baylor University.
In the preliminary round, Demel, riding Suddenly A Good Bar, bested the University of South Carolina’s Madison Thiel. The 2004 red roan gelding was loaned to the competition by owner Katherine Tobin. In the semifinals, Demel rode Double Good Machine to beat out St. Andrews University’s Mark Mowbray. The 2008 bay gelding is owned by Rheagan Bryant. Then, in the final round, Demel rode Lets Talk About AOK to the championship title. The 2000 bay gelding was loaned to the competition by owner Shea Graham and trained by AQHA Professional Horsewoman Karen Graham.