SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It's Championship Weekend around the Landmark Conference, but for Goucher College it's time to also celebrate a national champion. Cherise Madrid (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) became the fourth National Champion for the Goucher College equestrian program at the IHSA National Championships at the New York State Fair Expo Center in Syracuse, N.Y., on Friday.
"We are over-the-moon proud of these incredible dedicated students," said head coach Jen Smith. "They are both the type that will practice for hours until we literally have to tell them to stop. We feel so lucky every day that we get to work with them."
Madrid, who was making her first trip to the IHSA National Championships, won the individual walk trot national championship title on Thursday. Madrid was the Zone Reserve Champion in the individual walk trot at the IHSA Zone IV Championships on April 7 to earn her spot in Syracuse.
"This is honestly the best day of my life," said Madrid. "I just want to thank Brittany (Martin) and Jen so much as well as my mother and teammates. I couldn't have done this without them!"
The Gophers now have had four National Champions and three Reserve National Champions in program history.
Wren Wakeman (Addison, Maine/Washington Academy) finished fourth in the individual walk canter at the National Championships on Thursday. The senior was appearing on the national stage for the second time in her career in her final collegiate horse show.
"This has been such an incredible experience, truly life changing," said Wakeman. "I could not have done this without the help of both Jen and Britt and the rest of my team. I am so thankful to be a part of this incredible group of people."
Wakeman advanced to the national championship as a senior after earning the Zone Champion title in the individual walk canter at the IHSA Zone IV Championships. Wakeman helped the Gophers to an eighth-place standing at the 2017 IHSA National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky. The senior finished fifth in the walk-trot canter equitation.