43rd Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Nationals are Coming to Kentucky
RELEASE: February 16, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By LA Pomeroy
For Derby fans, the first Saturday in May will have passed, but the scent of roses will linger, May 6-9, as the Kentucky Horse Park hosts the blossoming talents of the best college-age riders in America for the 43rd Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships. Now in its 43rd year, the IHSA was the 1967 brainchild of a then-18-year-old sophomore named Bob Cacchione, and his Fairleigh Dickinson University professor, Jack Fritz, the quintessential Captain John “Jack” H. Fritz of three decades of United States Equestrian Team (USET) squads.
This year’s defending Collegiate Cup hunter seat team national champions are Centenary College (NJ) while the University of Findlay (OH) will be seeking to retain its American Quarter Horse Association Trophy western national team title. All will meet the scrutiny of either hunter seat judges Don Stewart of Ocala, FL, and Susie Schoellkopf of Buffalo, NY, or western judges Charlene Carter of Goodlettsville, TN, and Bonnie Jo Clay of Pilot Point, TX.
Approximately 500 individual riders from North America will compete, representing more than 370 teams and 8,200 individual riders. In addition to team competition, individuals at each level of their discipline also compete at Nationals, having qualified through regional and zone competitions. Competition plays a role, but enthusiasm and team spirit are the major objectives, as are learning and sportsmanship.
At the Nationals, IHSA traditionally awards more than 30 Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation (IEF) scholarships, including the Emily Hilscher Memorial Scholarship in honor of the Virginia Tech riding team member who was among the students who lost their lives when a gunman opened fire on the campus in 2007.
Since 1992, a Lifetime Achievement Award has also been presented at Nationals to an outstanding IHSA member. Last year’s award went to Virginia Tech’s riding coach, Teresa “T” McDonald. “Few moments in the history of Nationals were more memorable,” recalls Mount Holyoke College assistant coach, Gilly McPhee, “than the Collegiate Cup awards ceremony of 2007.” When the new IHSA national champions raised their Virginia Tech banner and donned Virginia Tech hats in honor of their fallen teammate, Emily Jane Hilscher, McDonald credited that moment as the beginning of her healing from the “devastation brought on by a senseless act of violence.”
Media credentials and requests for news, results, and interviews or special features, are being accepted now. Contact L.A. Pomeroy, PomeroyLA@aol.com
or (413) 586-6121. For more information, visit www.ihsainc.com