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Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and United States Hunter Jumper Association Unite to Benefit Hunter/Jumper Community

RELEASE: April 29, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By L.A. Pomeroy

Photo Courtesy USHJA (The headquarters of the United States Hunter Jumper Association.)
Photo Courtesy USHJA (The headquarters of the United States Hunter Jumper Association.)
When a horse and rider present an elegant partnership it’s called great equitation. When two equestrian organizations—the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA)—join forces, it’s called a winning combination.

“Speaking on behalf of the IHSA membership, I am confident in saying that I believe this relationship will greatly enhance both organizations and their members,” said IHSA Executive Director Robert E. Cacchione, who founded IHSA in 1967 while a student rider at Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey.

USHJA President Bill Moroney agreed: “The partnership with IHSA enhances the capabilities of both organizations. Working with the IHSA leadership has been seamless, and that speaks volumes about the great things that are in store as this partnership develops.” Moroney has led USHJA since its inception in 2003, when a small group attending a USEF Board of Directors meeting in Lexington, KY, agreed to form an organization representing all levels of hunter and jumper participants.

Where the dynamic potential of this new relationship rests is in both organizations aspiring to the same goal: to increase their voice and representation in the hunter/jumper world, nationally and across all disciplines where hunter seat riding has an impact.

IHSA and USHJA will celebrate their new multi-year agreement as Membership Partners during the 43rd annual IHSA National Championships, May 6-9, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which will include an Open House, hosted by USHJA, on Thursday evening, May 6, at its new administrative offices at the Horse Park.

What the Partnership Means
The new alliance is about more than throwing a great party. The two organizations cite numerous benefits, starting with greater financial support for the IHSA National Championships and Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation Scholarships, (including a contribution of at least 10% of USHJA dues received through the agreement).

Staying true to the spirit of higher education, IHSA coaches will discover a wealth of new resources available to them. Coaches that adopt the USHJA Trainers Certification Program (TCP) Manual as a college textbook, and order 10 or more copies, will receive their own, free TCP “Desk Copy.” They will be entitled to one free copy of the USHJA “Get Connected” equitation DVD, and starting in September 2010, will receive discounts on USHJA Trainers Symposiums and Trainers Certification Programs.

Honoring its four-decade history of intercollegiate competition will be an IHSA presence in the USHJA museum. The IHSA exhibit will include photographs chronicling the development of IHSA, and history of its prestigious Cacchione Cup, whose illustrious winners have included unprecedented three-time (1981-1983) consecutive champion, CeCe Williamson, and Olympians Beezie (nee Patton) Madden (1984) and Peter Wylde (1986).

Zone 5, Region 1 President Megan Taylor, coach for the University of the South, said that, in addition to photographs of past Cacchione Cup winners and hunter seat team champions, the IHSA exhibit includes the Jon Conyers Memorial Scholarship trophy: “Jon passed away in November 2008 and was a driving force in the IHSA as a coach, clinician, judge, mentor, IHSA Director and past IHSA Alumni Director.” In 2009, IHSA launched the Jon Conyers Memorial Scholarship and its inaugural winner was one of Taylor’s riders. “It was beyond an honor, since Jon was one of my closest friends. Additionally, either in or near the IHSA space in the USHJA museum, will be a plaque honoring and listing all past IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.”

Collegiate Membership Scores A+
In explaining the new partnership, Moroney said, “IHSA coaches and riders represent an important demographic in our industry. We look forward to this opportunity to grow membership, while providing educational opportunities to promising equestrians as they embark on their future.”

USHJA has taken the first stride by creating a new level of membership, specifically designed for IHSA hunter seat riders and coaches: the USHJA Collegiate Membership. For what amounts to just $1.25/month, ($15/year) for collegiate competitors, or less than $3/month ($35/year) for coaches, members will enjoy:

1. IHSA Zone participation in the USHJA Affiliate Sportsmanship Awards Program (recognizing juniors, amateurs, professional riders and instructors who exemplify good horsemanship, sportsmanship and integrity for the sport).
2. Participation in Outreach Competitions and Outreach Medal programs (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal classes open to Junior and Adult Amateur riders), including year-end high point awards.
3. Placement of 2010 and 2011 Cacchione Cup winners in the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program (nurturing talented riders under age 21). If the winner is over 21, USHJA will provide the winner with free registration to a USHJA Trainer Symposium.
4. Zone champion team saddle pads, and National champion team commemorative jackets.
5. Rider gift bags for IHSA National Finals Qualifiers.
6. IHSA college participation in the USHJA clinics program.
7. Representatives, appointed by each IHSA Zone and the national organization, to the USHJA Affiliates Council.

USHJA Collegiate Memberships run from September 1 to August 31 in accord with collegiate calendars. Membership was required for IHSA hunter seat alumni riders, coaches, and competitors who qualified for the 2010 Nationals; beginning in September 2010 all hunter seat riders, coaches and alumni must be USHJA members prior to the start of the competition season.

Looking Ahead
“I would like to thank the USHJA for recognizing student athletes as valued members of the equine community,” said Cacchione. “We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship.”

IHSA Zone 2 Chairman Peter Cashman noted how, through this partnership: “The USHJA gains roughly 8,000 new members through IHSA, and IHSA gains benefits, tangible and intangible, from USHJA as a voice and partner. We want this to be a long-term relationship.”

The key to a good round is keeping your horse forward and your eyes on the next fence. When two organizations that so epitomize the best that American hunter/jumper communities have to offer do the same, the results are equally fault-free. For more information, visit www.ihsainc.com or www.ushja.org.

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