Rooney competes in IHSA national competition
Makenna Rooney ’21, a marketing major and member of Salve Regina’s equestrian team, competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association’s national competition last weekend in Syracuse, New York, placing seventh in the intermediate over fences division.
“To say I am thankful for this chance to represent Salve at IHSA nationals is an understatement,” Rooney said. “The opportunity to compete at nationals has been a dream of mine since I was younger. There are no words to express my gratitude towards my parents, my coaches, my teammates and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today.”
The IHSA welcomes riders in the hunter and Western disciplines to compete individually or on a team. Riders qualify for the regional finals by accumulating points at local shows throughout the year. From the regional finals, the top two riders in each class move on to the zone finals, where the top two riders in each class finals qualify for nationals.
In the over fences division, the horse and rider navigate a course of at least six jumps, usually more. Riders are judged not only on their ability to negotiate the course, but also on their style and position while they do it.
Rooney was introduced to horseback riding 14 years when her parents were considering a trip to a dude ranch and wanted her to have experience. “Needless to say, I fell in the love with the sport – and we have never been to a dude ranch,” she said.
A Massachusetts native, Rooney and her horse Jasper train and compete with JPh Equestrian in Concord. Throughout middle and high school, she competed in the International Equestrian Association (the IHSA equivalent for riders in grades 4-12), advancing to the zone finals her junior and senior year.