Wellington, FL – December 16, 2011 – Coaches representing the four main governing bodies of collegiate riding will host seminars for the young riders at this year’s College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) Horse Show. Representatives from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), American National Riding Commission (ANRC), Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA), and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), will all be on hand. Presenting its second annual event, the 2012 CPI will be held January 13-15 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Everyone is invited to attend the seminars and meet the college coaches at this year’s CPI, not just riders entered to show. On the website, www.collegeprepinvitational.com, you can sign up by purchasing the “Seminar Only”. In addition, if you purchase the seminar only, you can also purchase the “Rider Bio” to post bios, photos and videos online for coaches to see. The “Rider Bio” can only be purchased through attending the seminars. Volunteers are also welcome at the event; please contact Heidi Lengyel at heidiL@collegeprepinvitational.com to sign up.
The speakers for the 2012 CPI are all excited to attend the event and inform student riders on the advantages of joining their programs. Every student has different needs when it comes to the college that they attend, and each of these organizations offers different opportunities for collegiate riding. Eddie Federwisch, Peggy McElveen, Jackie Dwell, and Greg Williams will all speak, in addition to opening commentary from sponsor Jim Turcotte.
Eddie Federwisch, Director of Virginia Intermont College Equine Studies Department and IHSA Director at Large, will speak on the benefits of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Federwisch is Chairman of the Hunter Seat Committee of the IHSA as well as a USEF recorded judge in Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation. Federwisch is a strong supporter of all intercollegiate equestrian competition and looks forward to the 2012 CPI.
“The CPI provides parents and students an incredible introduction into the somewhat confusing world of collegiate riding,” Federwisch noted. “Prospective collegiate riders get to actually compete in the IHSA format and gain a unique perspective.”
“Make sure to attend the Saturday Night Information Session, as I feel it is the most valuable part of the weekend,” he added. “Families need to understand the different and similar opportunities offered by the member institutions of the IHSA, IDA, ANRC and the NCAA Varsity Equestrian. Bring your questions!”
Peggy McElveen, Director of St. Andrews University’s Equestrian Program and a board member of the American National Riding Commission, will speak about her organization as well. McElveen hopes to educate the young riders about the ANRC and what they can gain from the program.
“It’s not like NCAA or IHSA where they have to compete all year. It is more of an educational program. It has rider ratings through the USHJA. There is a national championship each year for the college students to compete in too, but it is much more of an educational institution,” she explained.
McElveen praised the CPI for its efforts, explaining that it is an extremely beneficial program for both riders and coaches. She stated, “I think the CPI is a wonderful recruitment tool for coaches and it is a terrific opportunity for these students to be able to ride for the coaches and spend time talking to the schools. There are great seminars offered and the information that they can gain from this program is terrific.”
Last year’s CPI brought two new students to McElveen’s program at St. Andrews, and she looks forward to meeting more prospective students this year. “We definitely want to be able to talk with these young riders and see what their goals are and see what their interests are,” McElveen said. “There are lots of colleges with different academic programs and different locations throughout the country represented. This event helps us to be able to guide these students in the right way and hopefully some of them will go to the schools that are represented at CPI.”
Jackie Dwelle, National Secretary/Treasurer of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association, will inform students about the IDA during the CPI seminars. Dwell plans to speak about the history of the IDA, explain the mission and objectives of the program, and discuss the format of the horse shows and how IDA opens dressage up to riders from any background.
“For me, IDA is a wonderful format for riders in college to practice and develop their horsemanship skills by assessing each horse as an individual,” Dwelle explained. “It is very challenging to get on a horse you have never met before and during your ten minute warm up develop a partnership to the point of being able to show off the horse to the best of his or her abilities. IDA also offers an opportunity to be part of something greater than yourself. Team members support one another in the dressage arena and beyond. Being part of a team requires you to put the needs of the team ahead of your own needs, which develops the qualities of integrity, humility, leadership and sportsmanship.”
Dwelle looks forward to speaking at the CPI and also looks forward to the opportunity to meet young students. “I am looking forward to CPI because I love to meet young people who are excited about a college career and are looking for a school where they will not only earn a degree, but will also become part of a college’s equestrian team,” she stated. “Being on an equestrian team can be such an enriching and fulfilling experience for young people and I am looking forward to meeting future intercollegiate equestrians.”
The National Collegiate Athletic Association will round out the four governing bodies that will be represented at this year’s CPI. Greg Williams, Head Coach of the Auburn University Equestrian Team, will speak about riding for the NCAA.
Williams plans to give a general overview about what the NCAA is about, speaking a little about the format of the competitions, and generally what most teams are looking for, along with some of the NCAA rules.
Williams was also present for last year’s event and recruited a rider to his team while in Wellington. The coach is happy to be involved with the show and acknowledged the CPI for their production of the entire event. “I am very excited about this year’s CPI,” Williams smiled. “They do a great job. Everything runs smoothly and we are very appreciative of the professional manner that this is produced.”
“I think the CPI is a great idea and I hope it keeps growing,” Williams said further. “Hopefully we will be able to increase the opportunities for these riders. It is a great way to be seen. Right now there are very limited spots on these teams, so every bit of exposure that a rider can get is important.”
In addition to these four college representatives speaking on behalf of their organizations, Jim Turcotte, Vice-President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Mississippi College, will be the opening speaker. Mississippi College has a very new equestrian program that was formed just five years ago. The college hopes to expand and develop their program and establish themselves in the industry in years to come.
Turcotte explained, “We have started to really enhance our program and that is why we decided to get involved with the CPI. We have had some real success as far as student interest and we are currently doing a national search for a full-time coach.”
“My mission is to introduce Mississippi College and our partnership with Providence Hill Farm to the equestrian industry,” Turcotte stated. “We have one of the premier facilities in the country, and that is not something that I think the equestrian industry is aware of. Our hope is to meet and talk to students that would be interested in continuing their riding with us.”
“Our vision is that we are going to hire a coach and we are going to become much more aggressive nationally, to reach out and recruit students who want to come to our type of school and ride at our fantastic facility,” Turcotte emphasized. “We want to be a part of what the CPI is doing, because that is the premier event to meet students, parents and coaches, and to get to know riders from other teams and other places around the country.”
In addition to featuring these informative speakers, there will be a number of other colleges and universities present at the CPI to distribute literature and introduce the academic and riding opportunities, including scholarships, offered at their institutions. The 2012 CPI will be held January 13-15 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. For more information, please visit www.collegeprepinvitational.com.
The College Preparatory Invitational is held during the prestigious 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The management company of the FTI WEF, Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), joined forces with the CPI to host the unique event, aimed at both young college-bound equestrians and their families.