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Centenary College Shines at Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships

RELEASE: May 6, 2014

2014 IHSA Collegiate Cup Champions Centenary College and USEF/Cacchione Cup winner Alex Carlton (Al Cook)
2014 IHSA Collegiate Cup Champions Centenary College and USEF/Cacchione Cup winner Alex Carlton (Al Cook)
Harrisburg, Pa.
- Centenary College may have traveled to the 41st Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships with a small team, but their results were huge. They clinched the Collegiate Cup high-point honors May 1-3 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.

"We're thrilled. We have such a great team," said Michael Dowling, who coaches the Centenary Equestrian team in partnership with Heather Clark. "We have a big group here with riders and support staff, but it's the smallest group of riders that we've ever taken. We used three riders twice, so our novice rider rode flat and jumps, our intermediate rode the same and our open rider rode flat and jumps. Those are usually six spots that were occupied by just three individuals."

In déjà vu fashion from Centenary's last Collegiate Cup victory in 2011, their Open Hunt Seat rider Kathryn Haley clinched the team victory. She placed second in the Collegiate Cup Open Equitation Over Fences Saturday morning and then returned in the afternoon's culminating Collegiate Cup Open Equitation on the Flat to place fourth.

Haley, a senior graduating with a business administration degree and minor in equine studies, also won the 2010 USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session, presented by Dover Saddlery. She will now take a position with Stacia Klein Madden's Beacon Hill Show Stables Inc. "She's really developed into a great professional," said Dowling. "We're very excited for her."

Centenary Sophomore Cody Wooten swept the Collegiate Intermediate Equitation classes, winning the over fences and flat phases and propelling Centenary into team contention from the first day.

Centenary Novice rider Caroline Norton won the flat class, and Walk-Trot rider Brandon Tammone placed fifth to give Centenary a total of 31 points.

The College of Charleston (South Carolina) earned the Collegiate Cup Reserve Championship with 24 points, and Skidmore College (New York) placed third with 23 points.

Carlton Claims USEF/Cacchione Cup

In the Cacchione Cup individual championship, Alexandra Carlton, of the University of Vermont, jumped to the top with the best performance in the work-off after solid results over fences and on the flat. Emily D'Alessandro of St. Lawrence University placed second, while Centenary's Haley was third.

Judges Scott Hofstetter and Mike Rosser asked five riders to return for the Saturday morning work-off. The test included cantering directly to fence 1, cantering into a line and trotting out, several single fences with rollback options and a hand-gallop to the final oxer.

"The hand gallop separated the first- and second-placed riders," added Hofstetter. "[Alex] started to increase her pace from when she landed from the previous fence. She showed us that she had a lot of confidence in seeing the jump farther back and taking some pace to it, which brings the level of difficulty up as well."

Michael Kocher, of the Savannah College of Art and Design (Georgia), placed fourth in the Cacchione Cup and also earned the EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Award for open hunt seat rider. Bernie Traurig, owner of EquestrianCoach.com, a USHJA educational service provider, and judges Hofstetter and Rosser selected the winner based on the rider's performances at Nationals as well as a questionnaire identifying the rider's goals in the sport. Traurig was on-hand to present the award, which includes an apprenticeship with top equitation trainer Karen Healey.

Eddie Federwisch, IHSA riding coach, director, volunteer, judge and long-time supporter of the equine industry, received the 2014 IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Skidmore College's Leroy, a 16-hand bay gelding described simply as a "lovely draw" on his horse description, earned the IHSA Triple Crown High-Point Hunt Seat Horse Award. Cazenovia College's Chop Chop, a 15.3-hand gelding known as a "good draw," received the SmartPak Most Popular Hunt Seat Horse Award.

USHJA President Bill Moroney attended the show and supported the USHJA/IHSA partnership, which began in 2010.

"The IHSA Nationals is a tremendous success due to the dedication of Executive Director Bob Cacchione and support of all the volunteers, coaches, riders and parents," said Moroney. "Both organizations are benefitting from our membership partnership through promotion and education.

"I think the IHSA is a great program to build that bridge between the time riders come out of the junior ranks and become professionals, whether it's as a trainer or rider or in another field," Moroney continued. "I think it's a great program to keep riders in equestrian sport as they go through their higher education years."