Alicia Maynard will compete in the Western category of the national tourney.
For the first time in its five-year history, the Delaware State equestrian team will send its English and Western squads to the 2011 Varsity Equestrian National Championship April 14-16 in Waco, Texas.
The Hornet equestrian team has been to the national tournament in the previous three years, but this is the first year that both the English and the Western squads have been selected.
“This is the result of five years of hard work,” said Jennifer Ridgely, who is in her fifth year as the DSU equestrian head coach. “We have seven seniors on the team this year. What a way for them to go out!”
Delaware State is seeded 11th in the 12-team field for the national English (Hunter Seat) championship. This is the third tournament selection for the Hornets' English squad, which also competed in the 2008 and '09 competition.
Amanda Holtz, western rider
Delaware State is the No. 12 seed in this year's Western tournament. The Hornets are in the championship field for the second straight year after earning its first selection in 2010.
DSU's case for the national championship tournament was strengthened by team wins over perennial powers South Carolina and New Mexico State. South Carolina is the No. 5 seed in this year's VENC Western field and No. 6 in the English competition. New Mexico State's Western and English teams were also selected for the 2011 national tournament.
Kayla Blair, english rider
“The idea of going out and competing against the big teams has really paid off, because the tournament officials look hard at the strength of the schedule,” Coach Ridgely said. “This was our most successful year against bigger schools.”
DSU also had strong showings against tournament qualifiers Baylor and Tennessee Martin this season.
The Hornet equestrians will face South Carolina in the tourney's opening round.