MC Equestrian Team Member Meredith Guider Returns to Nationals::
CLINTON, MS - Mississippi College equestrian team standout Meredith Guider will return to the national championships in hopes of improving her 4th place finish a year ago.
The Nationals will be held April 23-26 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
"Congratulations to (Meredith) for working so hard to achieve this honor," said Becky Baumel, the team's interim coach. "It will be a tougher competition (the Nationals), but we are hoping she can improve. She still has the skills to be able to do that."
A senior from Utica, Guider on Saturday received second in the novice over fences at the zone regionals in Georgia to qualify for the Nationals. Last year, she was one of 18 riders in national competition in Los Angeles. She left California last May with a remarkable 4th place finish.
In just their second season, MC's team finished 6th overall in the region for total points, said Baumel, a former star rider at Findlay University in Ohio.
The Nationals is sponsored by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Only the top two riders in each of the nine regions participate in the Nationals.
The team is based at 2,000-acre Providence Hill Farm. Now with six members, the team is open to both men and women. Guider and other members of the team were featured when they made a visit to the Mississippi State Fair last fall.
Guider, a business major, was a former star rider at Virginia Intermont College before she transferred to Mississippi College in 2007.
Providence Hill Farm owner Jamie Martin, who's been a big booster of the team for its two seasons, was delighted to learn of Guider's outstanding performance over the weekend. "She's very proud of her," Baumel said Monday.
Next year, MC hopes to have a bigger equestrian team. Going to the Nationals again should be a good way to attract more interest in MC's program and enhance student recruitment, Baumel said.