Otterbein Dressage Team is Reserve National Champion; Hunt Seat Finishes Seventh in Nation  

Posted Jun 05, 2024

Otterbein University’s equine teams continue to dominate on the national stage, wrapping up their respective seasons with strong finishes. Students of any major are welcome to ride and compete on Otterbein’s equine teams. 

Otterbein Dressage Team is 2024 Reserve Champion 


The Otterbein Dressage Team won its region to qualify for the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) national championships, where it was the defending three-time champion. Facing fierce competition, Otterbein’s riders gave impressive performances across the board, and the Otterbein University Dressage Team was named the 2024 IDA National Reserve Champions. 

Otterbein’s IDA team secured second place finish out of 11 teams at the national finals held in Tryon, NC, in April. Otterbein won the national championship in 2019, 2022, and 2023. (Competition was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.) 

Team placings are as follows:  

  • Riley Leibeck: First Level, 5th place 
  • Ellie Linn: Upper Training, Champion 
  • Meaghan Suhodolsky: Lower Training, 4th place 
  • Maddy Gaber, Introductory Level, 7th place  

Kate Tuma, Lydia Smathers, Jules Richter, Meaghan Suhodolsky, Ellie Linn, and Lydia McKenzie had beautiful rides in the individual portion of National Finals.  


Highlights include:  

  • Ellie Linn: Individual Upper Training Test, 1st place 
  • Lydia McKenzie: Upper Training Dressage Seat Equitation, 1st place 
  • Lydia Smathers: Introductory Dressage Seat Equitation, 2nd place 

Congratulations to Otterbein’s outstanding Dressage Team and Coach Jennifer Roth! 

Otterbein’s Hunt Seat Team Finishes Seventh in Nation  

Otterbein University’s Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Equestrian Team finished seventh in the nation after an exciting week of hunt seat competition in Tryon, NC, in May.  

Otterbein’s team placed higher than more than 400 teams and 10,000 riders throughout the nation to achieve this impressive result. The team won its zone and regional championships in order to qualify for nationals.  

Over fences results: 

  • Elizabeth Orosz: Team Open Fences, 10th place 
  • Maire Hollertz: Team Intermediate Fences, 5th place 
  • Rachael Wingard: Team Limit Fences, 6th place 

In the equitation portion of the competition, Elizabeth Orosz, Emma Herbruck, Ella Paine, Natalie Nawa, and Rachel Nottestad competed for Otterbein’s team on the flat. Every rider was incredibly successful in classes that required rigorous testing, resulting in several top placings.  

Chloe Thatcher competed individually, earning third place in the Individual Intermediate Equitation.  

Congratulations to Otterbein’s outstanding Hunt Seat Team and Coaches Kari Briggs and Lindsay Yinger!