BHC Western riders win Regionals

dozens of people inside arena with banners
The Black Hawk College Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Western Equestrian Team recently was named the 2018-19 High Point Western Team for its region. This is the 16th consecutive year the college has won the IHSA Regional Championship.

The BHC team had a season total of 239 points, beating the next closest school (Iowa State University) by 56 points.

Kamryn Kruchten qualified as the open high point rider and will represent Black Hawk College at Nationals. Heidi Mueller, a 2018 BHC graduate who attends Iowa State, came in second.

Black Hawk College hosted the Zone 7, Region 4 Regional Championship on Sunday, Feb. 24 at the college’s East Campus in Galva. BHC riders competed against students from Augustana College, Illinois State University, Iowa State University, Northern Illinois University, Truman State University, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Western Illinois University.

Regionals differ from a conventional horse show as the student-athletes have never ridden the horse they are showing.

Minutes before their specific class, riders draw for their mount. A key to success is being able to make adjustments with an unfamiliar horse on the rail and in a designated pattern.

Next up for the BHC riders are the IHSA Western Semifinal Championships March 16-17 in Ocala, FL. Regions send their Regional Championship western team, plus the top two individuals in each division, to Semifinals.

Semifinals narrow the field of roughly 2,500 western riders down to 150 national qualifiers who will represent their respective schools in May 2-5 in Syracuse, NY.

Below are the Black Hawk College results from the Feb. 24 Regionals. An asterisk denotes the six students who qualified to compete individually in Semifinals. Also listed are the five BHC students who will compete as a team at Semifinals.


  • 1st place — Kamryn Kruchten* of Waunakee, WI

Open Horsemanship

  • 1st place — Kamryn Kruchten* of Waunakee, WI

Advanced Horsemanship

  • 2nd place — Allison Gossett* of Casey, IL
  • 3rd place — Kamryn Woodard of Norman, OK
  • 4th place — Cali Pontnack of Winchester, IL

Novice Horsemanship

  • 1st place — Samantha Perez* of Hanover, IL
  • 2nd place — Aubrey Bennett* of North Liberty, IN
  • 3rd place — Madison Taylor of Taylorville, IL
  • 4th place — Taylor Emigh of Sugar Grove, IL

Intermediate Horsemanship

  • 1st place — Caitlynn Marit* of Trivoli, IL
  • 2nd place — Sarah Stanger* of Algonquin, IL
  • 3rd place — Ezequiel Bustamante of Caracas, Venezuela
  • 6th place — Makaila Moore of DeWitt, IA
  • Qualifier — Gabrielle Hirsch of Peoria, IL
  • Qualifier — Brooke Bastian of Hopedale, IL

Beginner Horsemanship

  • 4th place — Ben Corey of Ewing, MO
  • 5th place — Payton Patrick of Port Byron, IL
  • 6th place — Amanda Carlson of Aledo, IL

Representing Black Hawk College in the team competition at Semifinals:

  • Teresa Brun of Edmore, MI
  • Taylor Emigh of Sugar Grove, IL
  • Olivia Henning of Marshall, WI
  • Kamryn Kruchten of Waunakee, WI
  • Shelby Trunnell of Kappa, IL
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