They came to represent. As student-athletes. As performers. As competitors. But also as ambassadors of the College’s equestrian team. And – as soon as they arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2011 IHSA National Championship last May – it was clear they were champions for their team.
“It’s an honor to be able to carry my college’s name to nationals,” says senior McKenzie Armour (middle), the 2010 national champion in the Individual Novice Flat class. “We perform as individuals, but we succeed as a team.”
And these three individuals were certainly a success: Armour took sixth in the Individual Intermediate Flat class and 11th in the Individual Novice Fences class, Alex Percival ’11 (right) took sixth in the Individual Walk Trot class and Kenzi Russell (left) took the national championship in the Individual Walk Trot Canter class.
“It’s unbelievable. Earlier this year, I was just happy to get on the team. Then I was just thrilled to be going to nationals,” says Russell.
“Kenzi’s win was definitely a highlight,” agrees Percival, who found the overall experience a little bittersweet: “This was the last thing I did as a college student, as a Cougar, so it was really special for me. We all were proud to be a part of this team, and we all walked away with our heads held high.”
In other words, they did exactly what they came to do.