NDSU Equestrian team members advance to nationals

I wanted to send congratulations to the two members of North Dakota State University’s equestrian team who will advance to national competition. Seniors Kelly O’Connell and Shannon Voges will compete at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national show in Lexington, Ky., May 5-8.

O’Connell, who is from Green Bay, Wis., will compete as the high-point rider for Zone 7, Region 3. She placed eighth in individual open horsemanship and 10th in individual open reining in the semifinals. She was named the Zone 7, Region 3, AQHA Cup Rider in post-season regional competition at the University of Minnesota, Crookston in early March.

Voges of Courtland, Minn., will compete as an individual in advanced horsemanship at the national event. She finished third in advanced horsemanship in the IHSA’s March semifinal show in Findlay, Ohio.  

Juliann Zach, a sophomore from Rosholt, S.D., received an honorable mention in intermediate horsemanship at the semifinals.

The top four riders in each division from three semifinal competitions qualify for the national event. “Only 12 people per individual division and 24 high-point riders qualify for the national show, so to have two people representing NDSU is a great accomplishment,” said Tara Swanson, the team’s coach, in a press release from NDSU.  “They were up against tough competition and really showed their talent at semifinals.”


The Red River Valley Fair is looking for volunteers to help out with the Red River Valley Horse Fair, to be held May 14-15 at the Fairgrounds, West Fargo. Volunteers are required in three areas:  Show Ring Assistance, Exhibit Booth Assistance and Horse Trail Challenge Assistance. Hours are flexible between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Additional volunteer hours are available Friday, May 13. No horse experience is necessary. To volunteer, contact RRVF Assistant General Manager Jodi Buresh at 701-282-2200, or jodi@redrivervalleyfair.com.