A team of sixth through eighth graders competing under the Storybook Farm Riding Team banner captured the middle school national championship in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association competition held April 20-22 at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y. The Storybook Farm high school team finished sixth overall.
The IEA is the equivalent of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, which oversees college equestrian competitions. More than 330 middle and high school riders competed in the national finals.
Members of the Storybook middle school team include: Karoline Hankinson of Mount Pleasant, who finished second in the Future Intermediate Fences individual; Darby Pease of Mount Pleasant, first in Future Intermediate Flat team; Anna Bradley Morrow of James Island, finished first in Future Novice Fences team; Hannah Pressler of Mount Pleasant, first in Future Novice Fences individual and eighth in Future Novice Flat team; and Sophie Mauerhan of Mount Pleasant, first in Future Beginner Flat team.
The Storybook high school team included: Annie Walters of Mount Pleasant, who placed fourth in Varsity Open Fences and Flat team; Brette Tennison of Mount Pleasant, seventh in Varsity Intermediate Flat team; Natalie Thorpe of Mount Pleasant, fourth in Varsity Intermediate Fences team; Addie Ledbetter of Ladson, who participated in JV Novice Flat team; Matt Drummond of Mount Pleasant, who finished eighth in JV Beginner Fences team; and Charlotte Pinckney of Ridgeland, who was fourth in JV Beginner Flat team.
Storybook Farms coach Alicia Story said the teams are made up of some of the best riders in the area. The riders work with other trainers but meet twice a month with Story.
“We’ve had super support from these riders and their trainers. I like to give them credit. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them,” Story said.
Storybook Farms, owned by Bob and Alicia Story, is home to the College of Charleston equestrian team. The Storys began the IEA program three years ago.
“I didn’t realize the team would take off as quickly as it did,” Alicia Story said.
The national event included 19 middle and high school teams from across the country. The Storybook Farm middle school team won the Zone 4 and Region 4 titles as well.