Dec. 9, 2009
- Taylor Cechini from Flemington, N.J., Piper Donnelly from
Terrace Park, Ohio, Christina Lin from Lewisburg, Pa., Stephanie Rucci
from Alpharetta, Ga., Addison Snively from Winter Haven, Fla., and
Chelsea Zillner from Lenexa, Kan., have signed national letters of
intent to attend Auburn University and participate in equestrian for the
2010-11 season, announced head coach Greg Williams
"We are thrilled to have these riders in the early signing period," said
Williams. "They will be able to add strength in depth and cover losses
by graduating seniors. This is another exciting signing for Auburn."
Cechini has been showing competitively since the age of 5. She has
successfully competed and won in the Equitation, Hunters and Jumpers at
the Capital Challenge, HITS Saugerties, HITS Ocala, Lake Placid,
Saratoga, HITS Culpeper, WEF and the Hampton Classic. One of her biggest
accomplishments was Champion in the Large Junior Hunters at the 2006
"Taylor rides with Olympic rider and top trainer Chris Kappler," said
Williams. "She is a beautiful rider who has worked hard under Kappler's
coaching. She is bringing not only riding skills, but a great team
attitude to Auburn. I am really excited about Taylor joining our team
Donnelly has been riding since the age of 7 and competing on the A-AA
circuit since the age of nine. She has competed in Large Ponies,
Children's Hunters, Large Junior Hunters, Junior Jumpers and
medal/equitation. She qualified for the Maclay Regionals, USEF Talent
Search and the National Hunt Seat Medal competing on a different horse
at every show. She has also qualified four ponies for Pony Finals and
finished seventh at Washington National. Donnelly has over 70 combined
Champion and Reserve Championships plus numerous Classic and Medal wins.
"Piper rides with Patty and Richard Rogers who have produced several
great riders for Auburn in the past, including current Hunt Seat and
associate head coach Lindsay Neubarth," said Williams. "Piper is a
talented rider, but what is most exciting to us as college coaches, is
her ability to win on a multitude of horses. She qualified for the medal
finals never riding the same horse twice. That is an accomplishment that
anyone would have to have great respect for."
Lin has several wins at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Lake Placid and
the Hampton Classic. Some of her 2009 accomplishments include: second
at the ASPCA Maclay at Devon, third in the Essex Classic/USHJA Hunterdon
Cup, fifth overall in older small junior at the East Coast Junior Hunter
Finals, sixth at the Wolffer Estate Equitation Championship and second
at the ASPCA Maclay Region 2 Regionals. In 2008, she was third at the
Washington Jumper phase at Devon and eighth at the Wolffer Estate
Equitation Championship. In 2007, Lin was 11th at the USET Finals East.
"We have seen Christina compete well at the Large Equitation events,"
said Williams. "She rides with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farms who
produces some of the best young riders in the country. Christina could
have a strong impact early in her collegiate career."
In 2009, Rucci was a semifinalist in Showmanship at the AQHYA World
Show. She was also Reserve All Round Champion at the 2009 Tennessee
Spring Celebration and top ten in Horsemanship at the 2009 Redbud
Spectacular. She was a member of the 2008 and 2009 Georgia Congress
NYATT team and won the 2008 Congress Novice Youth All Round Champion as
well as Reserve Champion in Novice Youth Horsemanship and Showmanship.
Rucci has won several all-around and year end awards at HQHA and GQHA
shows along with qualifying for the 2007 and 2008 Youth World Shows. A
member of the National Honor Society, Rucci is the 2009 GQHA treasurer
and was the 2008 GQHA delegate.
"Stephanie has been riding with Debbie Lisabeth in Georgia," said
Williams. "Her all-around experience is going to be very beneficial to
the type riding required in college. Stephanie seems to be that
wonderful combination of talent and inner drive coupled with a sweet
demeanor. We are really looking forward to her being an Auburn Tiger."
Snively has been riding and training young horses since the age of 8.
She has shown and had several wins at Wellington, HITS, PCHA, GOHJA and
PSJ. In 2009, she was Reserve Champion showing in Hunt Seat Equitation
on the Flat and over Fences at HITS and qualified for the 4H Regionals.
Snively currently ranks fifth out of her class of 400 at Winter Haven
"We have known Addison for years," said Williams. "She has been coached
by Dana Noga in Ocala, Fla., but also has regularly attended the
equestrian summer camps here in Auburn. Knowing her training and from
camps, we feel very comfortable that she will continue a strong work
ethic in college along with talented riding. We have loved the Snively
family for years and have enjoyed watching Jack, the Alabama fan father,
learn to love orange and blue as well."
Zillner has competed for over 12 years in various quarter horse
competitions around the country. She was a semi-finalist at the 2009
AQHA Congress in Columbus, Ohio, and has multiple circuit championships
in Horsemanship and placed in the top ten at the 2008 AQHA Congress.
She also qualified and competed at the Youth World Show in Horsemanship.
Zillner is an honors student and a member of the varsity basketball
team at St. James Academy.
"Chelsea is coming to us with a wealth of experience in top level
riding," said Williams. "She has been coached by one of the top youth
coaches, Jackie Krshka, so I know fundamentally she is ready for college
horses and competitions. I believe Chelsea will be able to have a
tremendous career as a Horsemanship rider in college."