Meet the Riders!
Bryanna Hoeper - President
My name is Bryanna Hoeper and I am from Spencer, Wisconsin. I am a junior this year and a Nursing Major. My parents own a small ranch so I have grown up loving horses my whole life. I love to trail ride and show Western/English pleasure. I do a lot of showing through local fun shows and the NCWHA showing circuit. This summer I stayed busy breaking my two year old, April and I also started showing AQHA and WQHA with my new horse, Dakota. I also own a gray quarter horse named Grayson, which you will learn is the love of my life! I joined the team to become a better rider and to continue being around horses while at college. I have made some awesome friends since being on the Equestrian Team and hopefully will make more!
Katie Lederer -English Team Captain
Hey! My name is Katie Lederer and I'm a sophomore at UWEC. I grew up in the tiny town of Hancock, WI on a small farm. I've been riding and showing horses since I was 9 years old! I grew up riding a fat little white pony named Traveller (he's the cute pony in the picture with me!) and he taught me a ton about riding! Since then I have had a few horses and mainly been showing Dressage and Hunt Seat. I've also been showing through 4-H and I love all the opportunities that comes with 4-H! When I found out that UWEC had an equestrian show team I was ecstatic and have had so much fun so far! Being on a team with a bunch of girls who are just as horse crazy as me makes college so much better! I love showing through the IHSA and it has been really challenging but totally worth it for the experience!
Hello! My name is Shandi Siegl and I am the team's senior girl this year. I'm up here from Germantown, WI by Milwaukee and am in the last year of my Geography major/Anthropology minor. My parents wanted my sister and I to focus on competing at Karate America tournaments but who knew once we came to college our lives would turn to horses. With much excitement I have recently bought my first horse -a gray Appendix mare named Elsa and absolutely love learning and competing in dressage shows with her. For the team I compete in both the hunter flat equitation classes and western horsemanship classes. Showing with my team mates is my absolute favorite thing to do with the team. Traveling to colleges in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota we have the opportunity to bond in hotels and see the geographies of different land scapes and food in the Midwest region. Having been with the team since we made the move to River Bluff I am excited at how many new girls we have this year and can't wait to be some real competition against colleges that provide their teams with barns and horses. Time to kick some booty this year everyone!! :)
Hey! My name is Brittany Witters and I am from Random Lake, Wisconsin. I am a freshman here at UWEC and majoring in nursing, but someday I would like to be a Nurse Practitioner. I have been riding horses since I was 9 years old. I have shown english, western, dressage, jumping, and eventing. I have not had the opportunity to own a horse but I have been lucky enough to lease some great horses! I cannot wait to start showing again and be part of the UWEC Equestrian Team family! I am so excited to ride with the team!
Hello I am Terra Mitzel and I am from Amery, WI. I am currently a freshman at UWEC and majoring in Communications with a minor in English. I have been riding and showing horses since I was 11 years old. I have a Quarter horse, Squirt that I show western and hunt seat with and I have a thoroughbred, Delta that I barrel race with. My favorite event is definitely barrel racing because I love the adrenaline I get right before I am about to run. I am also St. Croix Valley’s PRCA Rodeo Princess and I have had a blast learning about the rodeo circuit and meeting so many new people this past summer. When I am not showing, I love to take my horses swimming and go on long adventurous trail rides with friends. I found out there was an Equestrian Team here at Eau Claire right before I moved to college and I was so excited because the hardest thing about leaving was not being able to see horses, and now I get to! I hope from this experience that I can gain true friends that share the same passion as I do, and also learn to become a better ride overall.
Hi, my name is Megan Linton and Iʼm a freshmen studying for a double major in Physics and Engineering. I was born in Roscoe, Illinois but I moved to Clifton, Virginia in 2001. Iʼve always had an obsession and passion for horses. I started taking formal lessons in the summer before 3rd grade, but those ended soon after due to the poor treatment of the animals there. In 2007 my father found a camp in New Hampshire that has 75 horses on over 650 acres of land. Iʼve been attending that camp ever since. We ride on 600 acres of trails, get formal ring lessons, and most importantly we care for the farm and its animals. My expertise comes from riding many different horses, but not so much in jumping and formal events. I look forward to the amazing new experiences and friends I will gain from this team.
<Try outs are next week 9/17 - Looking forward to adding even more members!>
Hi! I’m Michelle Sparks. I’m currently a freshmen, pre-nursing student at UWEC. I’m originally from Mankato, Minnesota. My dad was the person who taught me everything I know. He had horses all his life and transferred his passion for them to me. I’ve been riding since I can remember, and don’t know what my life would be without horses. I’ve shown WSCA my whole life, and barrel racing was my favorite event. Showing IHSA is very different riding than I’m used to which I love. It’s a new experience that changes every time. I enjoy riding IHSA while continuing showing WSCA in the summers with my quarter horse, Lucky. I can’t wait to get to know my teammates more and advance my riding skills!
Hi! My name is Andrea Moe and I am Junior Nursing Student at UWEC. I am originally from Centerville, Minnesota. I grew up loving (obsessing over) horses. Nobody in my family ever owned any horses so my parents thought it was something I would grow out of, well 21 years later lets just say I haven't grown out of it! I showed WSCA and 4-H, and did MN High School Rodeo for 3 years. High School rodeo was the best experience, I did barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying, and it definitly helped me as a competitor to step up my game. I love showing IHSA in college because it gave me the opportunity to show in an area that I did not have much experience in and I'm able to grow and learn from my coach and teammates. Currently I own one quarterhorse named Garth who is the love of my life and I continue to barrel race and rodeo with him in the summers.
Hey! My name is Nicole Holzem and I graduated in December 2011 with a degree in Organizational Communications and a Management minor. Originally from Hartland, WI, I rode my first horse at 5 years old and fell in love with it! Through years of English and dressage lessons, I started to become a stronger rider when I was riding different horses, not just my own. I enjoyed the UWEC equestrian team because it was a challenge each and every ride since we were on a different horses each practice and at competitions! I recently began jumping lessons and found it exhilirating! When I joined the team as a freshman, I instantly became an active member, then found myself moving up to VP and finally President my senior year. I made great friends while on the team and love hearing how the team is continuously growing and improving their methods. I will always have a place in my heart for this organization...Good luck to all the new members who join each year :]
Hi, my name is Sami Gruber. I am a sophomore nursing major here at Eau Claire. I grew up on a small farm in Arena, Wisconsin, about a half hour west of Madison, and I have been riding my whole life. I have gained all my horsey knowledge from my mom and through the numerous 4-H teams I have competed on, such as judging and horse bowl teams. Right now I have three horses of my own: a 7 year old draft cross, a 10 year old quarter horse, and a 24 year old thoroughbred. I have done all the training with my Belgian/paint cross mare since the day she was born, and we compete at some local jumping shows as well as open shows. I also enjoy trail riding through our property and at local state parks in the summer. Right now I am working on getting my judges card to become a state horse council certified show judge. When I’m not in the barn I work at a nursing home as a CNA. I also enjoy anything that involves being outdoors: water skiing, cross country skiing, fishing, gardening, or just relaxing by the pool.
I’m Nicole Bartsch from Wausau, Wisconsin. I’m 19 years old and majoring in Nursing. I have always loved horseback riding since I was a little girl and started getting more involved with horse events when I leased a horse, Shabbah, and later bought my own horse, Smokey. Unfortunately I had to sell my horse and the equestrian team allows me to ride and still do what I love. The equestrian team has allowed me to improve my skills and will help me to keep working on them in the future. The team was a great way to meet new friends and have a lot of fun while learning new things.
Amber Traska graduated from UWEC spring of 2010. She majored in Kinesiology with an emphasis on physical education teaching, health, and adaptive PE. She is from Wausau, Wisconsin. She enjoys showing her horse Redford western pleasure, hunt, and a variety of games. Amber has shown at 4-H and local open shows for 10 years. She is a volunteer for Trinity Equestrian Center's Healing With Horses program. Amber also currently helps coach the Chippewa Fall High School Equestrian Team.
Hello! My name is Danielle Lemke. While at UW – Eau Claire, I was a Biology major and Psychology minor, eventually graduating with a Bachelors of Science Degree in May 2010. I was a member of the UW – Eau Claire Equestrian Show Team since my freshman year and was President of the team during my junior and senior years. I have been riding and competitively showing horses since the age of four. I primarily show Western pleasure/equitation, Saddle Seat pleasure/equitation, and Hunt Seat pleasure/equitation (shown with my horse, Eli), but have also jumped in the past and was the 2006 Lincoln County Rodeo Queen. Since Eli is now a retired show horse, my current project is training his three year-old nephew, Doc. Since my start at UW – Eau Claire, joining the team and having the opportunity to be the president for two years was a huge asset to my college career. Going to the barn to practice was definitely an escape from homework! I wish the UW – Eau Claire Equestrian Show Team the best of luck in the upcoming years as it continues to grow and dominate the IHSA!!!