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Hughes Ranks 10th in the Nation at Equestrian Championships

By Justine Gaskamp on 05/12/2015 Senior Madison Hughes rode her way to tenth in the Nation at the IHSA Equestrian National Championships.—courtesy photo, Channing Hawks Senior Madison Hughes rode her way to tenth in the Nation at the IHSA Equestrian National Championships.—courtesy photo, Channing Hawks

West Springfield, Mass.—OPSU Equestrian Madison Hughes was one of only twelve riders in her division to earn a chance to compete at the IHSA National Championships, and the first ever to represent Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s equine program on the national stage.

Hughes worked her way to Nationals with stellar performances throughout the year including being named Regional Champion in her division in Feb., and a fourth-place finish in the Western Semi-Finals in March which qualified her for the National Championships.

Competing in the Individual Open Reining division against eleven other riders, some of whom represent world-renowned equestrian programs with decades of experience and accolades, Hughes finished tenth at the national championships. The OPSU senior was the only rider representing a school from the state of Oklahoma amongst all divisions.

OPSU Equestrian Coach Channing Hawks said this of Hughes’ achievement, “I am so proud of her and our school program; not only to be listed among these phenomenal schools, but to be in the top 10 in the Nation in an organization with over 10,000 riders is such an amazing accomplishment for Madi and OPSU!”

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association is comprised of students from over 370 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. The teams are divided into 38 regions in eight zones with OPSU belonging to Zone 8 Region 5. Panhandle is the only school from Oklahoma in its region and one of just five teams in the IHSA from the Sooner State.

Congratulations to Madison Hughes and Coach Channing Hawks for their fine representation of Oklahoma Panhandle State University and for the continued success of the OPSU Equestrian Program.