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Equestrian Team Member Finishes among the Top Riders Nationally

Ellison PostonLander University student Ellison Poston won a national ranking at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) in Lexington, Ky., earlier this month.

Poston finished ninth among the 16 riders representing 15 colleges in the walk, trot, canter equitation category in the national championships. She qualified for the nationals by finishing second in that event at the IHSA Zone 5, Region 2 competition at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., in April.

A nursing major from Hodges, the 22-year-old Poston is a member of Lander's equestrian team whose second-year coach Mary Hughston heaped praise on her performance. "I am absolutely thrilled at how Ellison has progressed this year. She rode very well at the nationals," she said.

Poston is the daughter of Lander Equestrian Center director Nancy Poston and Atty. Kenny Poston of Hodges.

Walk, trot, canter demonstrates three gaits of a horse. The 16 riders competed as a group and were judged on how well they controlled their horses, and their personal poise, horsemanship and ability to ride correctly. They did not ride their own horses; mounts were assigned on the basis of a random draw.

Hughston said she is spending the off-season organizing and re-evaluating the equestrian program with the goal of making improvements for fall when team competition resumes. She added that several students who will be freshmen at Lander in the fall have already made commitments to ride for the team.

The team had an impressive 2010-2011 season, finishing second out of six schools in western competition, and fifth out of 15 in the hunt seat category.