OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.--Rachel Kanaziz '18 (North Branch High School) on Monday qualified for the semifinals in the sixth annual American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Collegiate Championship at the Built Ford Tough American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Show. This event, which started on Aug. 1 and ends on Aug. 11, is held in conjunction with the AQHA World Championships.
Kanaziz began the competition as one of the nation's top 16 amateur riders invited to represent the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA). Kanaziz is riding as a representative of the IHSA, which is the collegiate organization Adrian College holds membership.
After today's preliminary collegiate horsemanship round, the top eight advance to a semifinal round contested later tonight. The top four riders will advance to the finals on Tuesday. The event is designed to display the great horsemanship ability of both collegiate riding associations to the public and AQHA membership.
"I was in shock over the fact that I was invited to compete at such a prestigious event," Kanaziz said going into this competition. "I'm astounded that only eight riders from the entire IHSA, whose total number of participants is about 8,000 riders, were selected to compete. I have always been humbled by success, but this opportunity is especially humbling because the selection was based on who the association viewed as the top horsemen in the entire organization. I am so excited to compete at such a prestigious event with the top riders from both associations."
Adrian head coach Jody Prime, who led Kanaziz and her Bulldog teammates to several program records in her second season at the helm, called her "the final coat of polish on the stellar season we just had."
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