News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 5, 2008

Woods Equestrian teams earn high marks at Nationals

TERRE HAUTE — In May, members of the St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Hunter Seat and Western Equestrian teams traveled to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, Calif., to compete at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals, and many team members received high marks for their riding skills.

As the Hunter Seat Reserved Champion Team in Zone 9, SMWC served as a representative at nationals for the zone. This was their first team appearance at nationals, and the team finished 11th out of 18 teams. Hunter Seat rider Mary Bungum, an equine business management major from Park Ridge, Ill., placed sixth out of 18 in Individual Novice Equitation Over Fences, and Melissa Madsen, an equine studies major from South Bend, placed fourth out of 18 in the Team Walk-Trot Canter Equitation class.

On the Western team, Charlynn (Larissa) Turner, who graduated in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, took the Reserve Champion title in the American Quarter Horse Association High Point Western Rider competition. Turner, who is from Center Point, was the regional high point rider in Zone 9, Region 1, which qualified her to compete at nationals, and her Reserve Champion title means that she placed second out of 22 riders. Other Western Team riders who placed include Brittany Eyer, an equine studies major from Cromwell, who placed ninth out of 12 in the Individual Beginner Western Horsemanship class and Ashley Bruner, an equine training and instruction major from Solsberry, who placed ninth out of 12 in Individual Intermediate Western Horsemanship.

The following students also represented the SMWC Equestrian Teams at nationals:

• Cortni Bigley, an equine studies and pre-veterinary double major from Ellettsville, competed in Team Walk-Trot-Canter Equitation.

• Sarah Kniesly, a criminal justice major from Indianapolis, competed in Team Novice Equitation on the Flat and Team Novice Equitation Over Fences.

• Molly Migliaccio, an equine business management and graphic design double major from Anthem, Ariz., competed in Team Intermediate Equitation on the Flat and Team Intermediate Equitation Over Fences.

• Aubrey Fait, an equine training and instruction major from Mequon, Wis., competed in Team Open Equitation on the Flat and Team Open Equitation Over Fences.

• Allison Kralovansky, an equine business management major from Elkhart, competed in Individual Open Western Horsemanship.

“I continue to be very proud of the accomplishments of the teams,” said Cindy Durham, SMWC Western Equestrian Team coach. “Every goal begins with a vision. That vision becomes work, perseverance, patience and finally joy as the goal becomes a reality.”

The SMWC Equestrian teams compete throughout the year in both Western and Hunter Seat riding, traveling to about 20 shows per season. SMWC has often been the site for regional horse shows, and students are a vital part of the management of these shows.

Students at SMWC can pursue degrees in equine studies, equine training and instruction, equine business management and pre-veterinary studies through the Mari Hulman George School of Equine Studies. And, all students involved in the equestrian teams and academic programs at SMWC get to take advantage of the college’s Equine Center, which includes a historic 20-stall stable and a new, modern complex that has a 32-stall barn, a laboratory and a classroom wing.

More than 90 percent of the students in the campus-based program at SMWC receive scholarships and financial aid, and special scholarships are available for select equestrian team riders. More information about the equestrian teams, programs and scholarship and financial aid opportunities at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College can be obtained by e-mailing or by calling (812) 535-5106 or

1-800-926-SMWC. Information is available online at