Kennan Heads to IHSA Nationals

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State senior Western rider Nicole Keenan will travel to Lexington, Ky., this weekend to compete for a national title in Advanced Horsemanship at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships.

Six different levels of Western riding comprise the IHSA format from beginner through Open (World Show qualifying rider) which has Horsemanship and Reining. On an individual basis, riders accumulate points from season to season in all divisions but the open division to determine postseason consideration.

Acquiring 35 points in a respective division earns a rider a trip to Regionals, where riders will then compete for the top two placings in their class to go on to semifinals, as well as graduation to the next level in IHSA competition. At semifinals, a rider must place in first through fourth to move on to nationals.

A native of Oakley, Keenan originally qualified for IHSA Regionals at K-State's IHSA Western show by reaching the 35 points required on February 27.

At the Black Hawk College Regional on March 16, Kennan was able to take home top honors, qualifying her to ride in the IHSA Semifinals at St. Andrews College on March 27-28. It was here where she clinched her spot in Nationals, finishing in the top two to advance to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., this weekend for Nationals competition.

"Nicole and I are excited to head to Lexington and have her compete in the IHSA National Championships," said head coach Casie Lisabeth. "Nicole is extremely prepared to compete and I am confident she will do great on any horse she draws." -