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MSU’s Kaitlyn Praisler wins national equestrian competition

Kaitlyn PraislerMorehead State’s equestrian team not only gives students a chance to compete in a sport they love; it also equips them with the skills they need for success after graduation. Senior Kaitlyn Praisler, an equine science major from West Salem, Ohio, won the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Individual Ranch Riding championship at the IHSA National Championship held in May.

Riding a horse named Penny, Praisler was the sole rider representing MSU at this year’s competition. She was the first MSU student to win a national title since David Davis (Class of 1987) won the AQHA High Point Western title in 1985.

Praisler has been riding her whole life and said winning the title was an experience she’ll never forget.

“I have worked so hard for so many years and to finally win my first grand champion buckle at a National Championship just left me speechless,” she said. “I have been on the MSU Equestrian Team since I was a freshman. It was one of the main reasons I chose MSU.”

Students on the Equestrian Team gain skills that give them the skills employers are looking for, setting them on the path to career success. Equestrian Team Coach and Instructor of Agricultural Sciences Luke Brock said students learn practical animal care and handling skills, in addition to more universal skills like leadership, time management and teamwork. Students also gain experiential learning opportunities through classes at the Derrickson Agricultural Complex, internships and summer job opportunities.

Former team members have become assistant trainers and farriers; many graduates work in the veterinary industry.

As for Praisler’s win, Brock said she worked hard to get to nationals, and he’s proud to have been a part of it.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Kaitlyn Praisler, and her character and talent are rare. Coaching her has been an honor and watching her achieve her dreams is the most rewarding experience I’ve had as a coach so far. Congratulations, Kaitlyn, on this well-deserved victory! Go Eagles!”

The IHSA is a nonprofit organization composed of men and women of all riding levels and offers individual and team competition. Members of the IHSA participate in horse shows. Students compete at eight levels, from beginner through advanced, with horses provided to them.

For more information on the equestrian team, contact Brock at

Learn more about programs in the Department of Agricultural Sciences by emailing or calling 606-783-2662.

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