Julia Roshelli and Louise, owned by University of Findlay. Photo by alcookphoto.com.
Syracuse, N.Y. — May 5, 2018 — The final day of the 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships featured the conclusion of the Western divisions. This year, the IHSA is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Western Divisions. Young men and women from across North America qualified to compete at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The University of Findlay successfully defended their 2018 title and took home the trophy for the second consecutive year with 49 points. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls was named reserve champion with 41 points and Ohio State University was a close third with 39 points.
Spencer Zimmerman, who became the Findlay Oilers’ head coach for the 2017-2018 season, is now two-for-two.
“We have a lot of the same riders that we had last year, but it’s a horse show so anything can happen,” Zimmerman said. “They came in with their A-game. They had the mindset and the technique and the tools. It was a lot of fun to see.”
Three Findlay team seniors just had their graduation day. The team will start back up in August and the riders will have to earn their spots on the team for next year.
“We won’t have a whole brand-new team, I’m sure, but they’ll all be fighting for their spot on the team again,” he said.
This is the University of Findlay’s seventh IHSA AQHA Team National Championship.
UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY’S JULIA ROSHELLI SWEEPS HER DIVISIONS AND EARNS THE AQHA HIGH POINT RIDER AWARD AND AQHA TEAM OPEN CHAMPION
Julia Roshelli won every class she qualified for at Nationals. She earned the championship honors in Individual Open Reining, AQHA Team Open Horsemanship, and the AQHA High Point Rider. Ironically, the University of Findlay senior’s photo graced this year’s IHSA 40th Anniversary of the Western Divisions graphic.
“It’s a little unreal,” Roshelli said. “This has just been a huge goal of mine, you know, for all four years.”
This was Roshelli’s first full year competing in the open division.
“From day one I was going for this and I’ve worked hard and my coaches have helped me along the way. It’s a great way to end my senior year.”
Roshelli rode Louise, owned by the University of Findlay, in the AQHA High Point Rider Reining Phase and Sarah from Alfred University in the AQHA Open Horsemanship, which helped to seal the deal for the Findlay team.
Adam Edgar in Cacchione Cup Over Fences Phase. Photo by EQ Media.
Western Divisions Celebrate 40th Anniversary
Syracuse, N.Y. — May 3, 2019 — The 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships resumed for the second day of action at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The first two phases of the coveted USEF/Cacchione Cup, the Equitation Over Fences and the Equitation on the Flat, took place. The Western riders and horses also began competition, featuring AQHA Team Open Reining and Individual Open Western Horsemanship. All teams participated in the colorful Parade of Teams.
ADAM EDGAR CURRENTLY IN THE LEAD OF USEF/CACCHIONE CUP FIRST TWO PHASES
In the USEF/Cacchione Cup Equitation Over Fences, Adam Edgar, a sophomore from Lee, Virginia and member of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) team, produced the leading round aboard Vinny, owned by Miami University of Ohio that earned a score of 85. On the Flat, the judges awarded him an 86 aboard Sydney, owned by Penn State University.
“That horse (Sydney) was a little bit slimmer and more my type,” Edgar said. “He really made me feel beautiful. He was a great one – super comfortable; super sweet. All the horses have been so well behaved; they are such good horses.”
Edgar shared that no matter the outcome of the USEF/Cacchione Cup, they’ve worked hard and he feels that he has made his coaches proud.
“It’s taken a while for me to finally be very confident in my riding,” Edgar said. “That’s really been a game changer and it’s nice to go home at the end of the day and not be beating myself up. I feel great.”
Ashley Henry, head coach of the SCAD team, describes Edgar as a person who can go in the ring with multiple things to focus on.
“Honestly, he’s one of the best students that I’ve had that works well under pressure,” she said. “He’s been a very busy bee. A lot of people get distracted with too much information, but he absorbs it and keeps working.”
This year, the IHSA celebrates 40 years of Western divisions. A presentation began when a team of six Belgian draft horses led by the Morrisville State College lapped the arena for a demonstration with Bob Cacchione aboard. Then, AQHA judging professional Joe Carter and Ohio State coach Ollie Griffith joined Cacchione to speak to the audience about the longtime relationship with the AQHA. Concluding the presentation, Cacchione presented a plaque to AQHA representatives.
UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY TAKES A WIN FOR THE TEAM IN AQHA TEAM OPEN REINING
Morgan Knerr, a sophomore at University of Findlay from Plain City, Ohio and the 2018 NRHA Open Reining Champion, nabbed the first notch to help her team defend their 2018 national championship. She drew one of eight horses provided by the University of Findlay, Louise.
“She was a sweetheart,” Knerr said about Louise. “I rode her at Semis a few weeks ago and so she was really great. I loved her. The pattern went really well. I was really happy with it.”
The University of Findlay Head Coach Spencer Zimmerman was pleased with the outcome. “This venue does not look anything like our arena,” he said. “It’s a little bit more modern, a little bit bigger. We’ve just been soaking it up. They’re all excited to show here.
Anna Woolsey, a 19-year-old freshman from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, earned the reserve championship. She and her parents, Morgan and Chris, made the drive from Oklahoma to Syracuse and spent some time at Niagara Falls before Nationals.
“I had a little bit of tough luck in the Individual Reining class but I pulled it together for the team reining and our team made it,” she said about qualifying to get to Nationals. According to Woolsey it is the first time Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College has qualified for Nationals.
KENDALL WOELLMER WINS INDIVIDUAL OPEN WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP AND TEAM NOVICE OVER FENCES
Kendall Woellmer is a junior from West Texas A&M University who competes in both the Western and hunter seat division and excels. Thursday, Woellmer won the championship of the Team Novice Equitation. She traded in her breeches and boots for chaps and a cowboy hat and bested the field of national qualifiers in the Individual Open Western Horsemanship. She was accompanied by West Texas A&M Assistant Coach Selena Finn. Head Coach Amanda Love cheered at home as the team Facetimed with her. Love is expecting her first child within the month.
“I drew Chester and his nickname is Ham Sandwich (provided by SUNY Oswego),” she said. “He was perfect – a dream come true.”
Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation will host a career fair Friday, May 6, 2016, at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s (IHSA) National Championships. The IHSA National Champions will host over 500 college equestrians and their coaches, families, and friends. The career fair is an opportunity for students to be introduced to successful businesses within the equine industry and create avenues for relationships, internships, and career connections.
Job fair attendees should bring several copies of their resumes to share with various groups and employers. The event is free and open to the public.
Companies interested in securing a booth at the job fair, or providing door prizes, gifts, and coupons to be raffled during a reception, should contact Natalie Norwood at 859-225-6951 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joyce Hamblin at 859-225-6939 or email@example.com.
Coach Mary Drueding left, Coach Cindy Ford right. Photo by Tim Moore.
Fairfield, CT – May 14, 2013 – Only twice in the 40-year history of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships have two hunter seat teams tied for the Collegiate Cup overall high point title: 1980, when Southern Seminary College tied with SUNY Stony Brook, and 1989, when Colby-Sawyer College tied with Pennsylvania State University.
Add 2013 to that short list. St. Lawrence University coach Mary Drueding and her defending national champion Saints will share the IHSA hunter seat high point team Collegiate Cup with last year’s reserve champions, coach Cindy Ford and her ‘built Ford tough’ Skidmore College Thoroughbreds.
“Sharing is better than losing to her,” joked Drueding about her good friend and even better IHSA Zone 2 rival. Ford and Skidmore turned up the heat in the homestretch like true Thoroughbreds on the first Saturday in May and brought the race for high point team at the 40th IHSA Nationals, at the Farm Expo Equine Center in Harrisburg, PA, to a dead heat.
During a good-natured ‘wrestling match’ while accepting the silver trophy, it was clear each coach held the other in high regard. “I admire Cindy’s work ethic. It’s an honor to share this with her,” Drueding said.
“We’re friends and competitors. The respect is reciprocal,” said Ford. Each team finished with 22 points overall.
“At mid-year,” Drueding mused, “we were behind in the standings. As the defending team that made me wonder: were we one-hit wonders? Although we’ve always been a little bit better in the spring than fall.”
Indeed, St. Lawrence riders began blooming with the start of Collegiate team finals on Thursday, May 2, in front of special guest and 1986 creator of the Collegiate saddle, Weatherbeeta executive vice president, Jack Levy.
“We had a strong start,” Drueding said. Saints rider Katherine Figueroa posted a win in Novice Hunter Seat Equitation, with Skidmore’s Jessica Stoukides in reserve; and Alyssa Bokor won Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation, again with Skidmore (Emory Wonham) second.
Friday team classes belonged to Stanford University and coach Vanessa Bartsch. In back-to-back rides that left Stanford not to be underestimated, Eliza Richartz won Walk/Trot and Victoria Greenen won Walk/Trot/Canter, contributing to the 20 points overall that would earn the West Coast team singular ownership of the 2013 Collegiate Cup reserve title.
Friday turned into Saturday and Skidmore’s Flavia D’Urso won Open Equitation Over Fences, delivering the seven points needed to bring Skidmore neck-and-neck with St. Lawrence. “We just worked hard,” said Ford, now a seven-time Collegiate Cup winner. “You never get tired of winning.”
“To have our riders come all this way and leave as reserve national champions is incredibly gratifying,” said coach Bartsch. “We had a young team of first-year riders and sophomores, except for senior, Alison Smith. Winning back-to-back championships in Walk/Trot and Walk/Trot/Canter speaks to the work ethic of our riders and quality of our coaching staff.
“Eliza was on varsity sailing before learning to ride less than a year ago. Team captain, Claire Margolis, a sophomore, was the only rider to qualify in five classes (Individual Open Flat and Fences, Team Open Flat and Fences, and Cacchione Cup). She kept her focus and led her team, despite drawing first to go in all three over fences classes.” After her rides, Margolis, a Mathematics major, drolly noted to coach Bartsch that such odds had been 1 in 9,000.
The Reich Stuff Wins USEF/Cacchione Cup
Centenary College’s Cori Reich wasn’t intimidated by odds. Not when her goal was nothing short of the USEF/Cacchione Cup. Reich, who qualified last year but did not finish in the ribbons, spent senior year redoubling her efforts under coaches Michael Dowling and Heather Clark, and drawing upon her experience growing up on the family’s Rolling Coach Stables in Ivyland, PA, building her seat on horses whose sale prices reflected their problems.
“We got ‘difficult’ horses because those were the ones we could afford,” said Lori and George Reich, who came to Harrisburg to support their daughter but never dared hope it would be while holding the Cacchione Cup. “Cori started riding at age six. Every horse she’s owned has been challenging. Now she’s off to bigger things.”
In front of hunter seat judges Anne and Bobby Braswell, Reich earned 84.25 points on Kerry Kocher’s over fences course, drawing “experienced equitation horse” Parker, and scoring 90 on the flat with “fantastic draw,” King, for a final 174.25 points. The reserve champion, with 169, was Skidmore Collegiate Cup game-changer, Flavia D’Urso.
“This was the one show where I had no idea how things would go,” said the USEF/Cacchione Cup champion, who began weeping as D’Urso left the awards line-up to accept the reserve tricolor. “I happened to draw a good horse in the last phase. Parker is a Centenary horse I wanted if I was lucky, because I’m tall and he’s big, so we match well. For the flat, I drew Centenary’s King and he was fantastic.
“I was less worried about the draw than hearing there would be ten jumps in the ride-off. That was scary.” Reich, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies with a concentration in training and teaching, added, “I came as an individual rider for the Cacchione Cup. After last year, I was determined to be better prepared. Heather and Michael have been great. I was too aggressive last time so we ‘smoothed out’ my riding.”
D’Urso came ready to ride: “I’ve been with coach Ford for a long time, so I felt consistent and prepared. I was lucky to get Centenary’s Sean, who was soft and forward, as first draw. I came ready to put my best foot forward. At the end of the day it’s up to the judges.” The Skidmore senior, from Chester, NJ, plans take her degree in psychology and art to New York City to “see what happens.”
1996 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Silver medalist Peter Leone, on hand to award finalists with his latest book, Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic, co-authored with Kimberly Jaussi, was impressed with the caliber of competition: “I see future assistants and employees. I’d like any of them working with me.” He’ll get his chance, having offered Reich a free week of one-on-one training at Leone’s Lionshare Farm in Greenwich, CT, after her finals.
“I remember being that age and how winning a championship like this puts you on cloud nine,” said Leone. Quoting George Morris, former US chef d’equipe and author of the forward in Leone’s book:
“Through riding, you learn a lot about life. An opportunity like this offers a boost of confidence and energy for equestrian dreams and life in general.”
Reich said, “I want to be a show jumper. I’ve always looked up to (prior Cacchione Cup winner) Beezie Madden. She’s a great role model for riders and girls. I want to ride professionally, as well as teach, train and own my own barn.”
“We’re excited for Cori,” said Centenary coaches Clark and Dowling. “She did tons of no-stirrup work. Her nemesis is that she rides a ‘forward’ horse really well into a jump. Parker was a ‘leg’ horse and not the easiest ride, but her goal was the Cacchione Cup.”
Reich also accepted the EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Award for hunter seat riders. “She was a clear winner,” said founder, Bernie Traurig. “She epitomized style, effective riding, and the potential for excellence in equestrian sport. She fit the criteria to a ‘T’.” Her award included an Antares helmet and internship with hunter/equitation trainer, Missy Clark.
The top three USEF/Cacchione finalists received inaugural Anne and Mario Cacchione Memorial Scholarships: Reich, D’Urso, and Blake Roberts (Virginia Intermont College).
SmartPak Hunter Seat Horse of the Show was Centenary College’s King, a bay, 21-year-old Dutch Warmblood that has been with its riding program for seven years and described as a “fantastic draw” and “perfect IHSA pro.”
The Jockey Club Incentive Program, encouraging retraining/rehoming OTTBs, recognized Skidmore College hunter seat draw, Noah, a “simple, not complicated, ride,” as outstanding Thoroughbred of the show. Reserve was St. Lawrence’s “good draw, plenty of hunter miles, and auto-swap” Louie.
Love’s Labor Found: West Texas A&M Champions
“We’re going to Disney World,” joked West Texas A&M University head coach, Amanda Love, amid cheers and tears as the final team scores confirmed what her Lady Buffs had aimed for all season: taking the 2013 AQHA Trophy High Point Western Team Championship back to Canyon.
At first it seemed the Nationals might have another team tie. Sunday’s last day of classes in front of western judges Joe Carter and Deborah Kail opened with WTAMU and St. Andrews University sharing the top slot, having parried points since Friday when Addie Davis scored WTAMU’s first team points while closing her own college riding career with a third in NRHA Open Reining Pattern, followed shortly by Samantha Cram’s reserve in Novice Western Horsemanship for SAU.
The team title came down to the final team class: Open Western Horsemanship. While the championship went to Austin Griffith for Ohio State (who saw no shortage of individual awards at Harrisburg) the reserve to Western Individual Open Horsemanship champion Julia Roberts (WTAMU) clinched an historic second AQHA Trophy for the Lady Buffs, exactly a decade after their last IHSA Western team title.
“Every year I feel like we have a team that could be successful, but this was different,” Love said. “I knew it was going to work out. We had a great showing by winning Western Semi-Finals and kept that momentum.
“This has been a great group of girls and an absolutely successful year of building relationships. That’s what we focus on, making sure we have a team atmosphere that encourages success for everyone. Every week, we are an athletic team that pushes to become the best team out there.”
Also meeting their academic best, WTAMU’s Mary Trimble was named recipient of the 2013 Joan Johnson Memorial Scholarship.
For newly-minted AQHA Trophy Reserve Champion coach Carla Wennbergy, “This is the best I’ve ever done. It’s been an amazing, long road and this team worked so hard. It’s like life. You work hard, you reap the benefits.” The St. Andrews University western coach’s closest prior brush with the trophy had been a tie for third with Middle Tennessee State. During a Saturday evening ceremony in the arena orchestrated by fellow coach, Peggy McElveen, five of the SAU team were presented with their graduation diplomas at Harrisburg.
Meanwhile, Austin Griffith of Ohio State University has figured out the perfect early Mother’s Day gift: Win a national title. Defend it. Win it again. Which is exactly what the 2013 AQHA High Point Western Rider did while rewriting IHSA history as its second-ever consecutive champion. Only Quincy Cahill (WTAMU) can claim the same, having won AQHA High Point Western Rider in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
“I’ll take the gift. He rode even better than last year,” said mom Debbie Griffith. She and husband Ollie have coached OSU since the inception of its western team more than 25 years ago.
Griffith’s win in team Open Horsemanship helped OSU finish its season tied third nationally with University of Findlay. He also slid into the individual Open Reining title and reserve in team reining, received the 2013 Jack Fritz Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late, great advocate of collegiate riding, and accepted an EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Award that included a Pard’s gift certificate and internship with NRHA legend, Tim McQuay.
“It feels awesome,” Griffith said. Drawing Ohio State’s Wilson for the reining phase, and with NRHA president Beth Himes in the audience, his goal with the upper level horse described as a “show horse with a spur stop” was to “Send him up with my leg without risking breaking stride. I was most worried about lead changes, but didn’t have to be. Things turned out pretty good.
“After reining, I was at the end of the first split and had twelve riders to sit through. Ashley (Winters) was in the second split, so that was nerve-wracking.”
Giving Griffith those title race jitters was University of Findlay first-year rider, Ashley Winters: “I love my coaches. They told me to keep my head up and show them what a freshman can do.”
The Western Equine Studies and Environmental Safety major earned 78 points in Phase 1 and 91 in Phase Two, after a re-ride, to clinch the AQHA Trophy Reserve Championship with 169 points. Griffith, scoring 120 in Phase 1 and repeating that score in Phase 2, had 240 overall.
Kelsey Delaplaine, of West Virginia University, earned the IHSA Versatility Award, qualifying in both disciplines for AQHA Open Western Rider, Open Equitation on the Flat, and USEF/Cacchione Cup.
WVU and coach Bobby Dean also had SmartPak Western Horse of the Show: 1987 American Quarter Horse gelding, Joker By Story (Storys Early Morn x Tambo’s Star x Indiana Look), bred by Sharon Puccio of Farmington, WV.
“A former student donated Joker to the program where he has been happily training students in the art of horsemanship for ten years,” said coach Dean. “He’s won national championships four times – twice this year. He won team novice (with Emily Kopko of Middle Tennessee State University), and team advanced (with Kayla Wells of WTAMU). He’s a good boy.”
Dartmouth College made its mark in academic and lifetime achievement. The IHSA Senior Athletic Academic Achievement Award Essay Winner was Natalie Colaneri: “Over time, the resilience I learned from competing at horse shows shaped my academic performance. I turned negative feelings experienced after doing poorly in a show or on an exam into motivation to do better next time. This confidence, stemming from my learned ability to convert failure into motivation, was essential to my academic success at college and I know will be incredibly beneficial in any career path I choose.”
The 21st IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award went to Sally Batton. Batton is in her 23rd season as director of riding and head coach of the Dartmouth College equestrian team, coming to the school in 1990 after two years coaching at Centenary. “I love how IHSA brings all experience levels together. I love seeing the highest-level riders gathered around the walk-trotter, to do hair and cheer them on. I love that IHSA allows every rider to compete,” said the IHSA National Steward since 2001, and 2008 American Riding Instructors Association ‘Instructor of the Year.’
With personal congratulations on Saturday by Harrisburg’s Mayor Linda J. Thompson, the Overall IHSA Community Service Award (and 31+ members division award) went to Pennsylvania State University.
“As part of the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), the Penn State team raised $35,000 in 2012-2013 for pediatric cancer through fundraising,” said equestrian team coach Malinda Grice.
“By collecting spare change, ‘canning’ on street corners, selling saddle pads, and mail appeals, the team helped THON raise more than $12 million this year. Since their participation n fundraising for THON begain in 2007, Penn State IHSA riders have raised $129,000. Proceeds from THON go to the Four Diamonds Fund supporting pediatric cancer research and family funding/support at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Children’s Hospital in Hershey, PA.”
IHSA Community Service (1-15 members division) Award winner was Gettysburg College, whose team volunteers at The Hoffman Home for Youth, a residential psychiatric treatment center in Littlestown, PA, and played an integral role in launching its new therapeutic riding program.
Recognized for service in the 16-30 members division was the Hofstra University team. After Hurricane Sandy, its team helped devastated families in Long Beach, Island Park and Breezy Point by gutting homes and helping retrieve personal items. Donating their time each weekend, the riders worked through the holidays giving out toys and food for Long Island’s ‘new homeless,’ and in April, raised over $1,000 with a dinner/dance benefit for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.
Two of three IHSA Nationals Sportsmanship Awards went to Lafayette College equestrians. The Coach’s Sportsmanship Award went to Lafayette coach Erin Githens, for her additional contributions as a volunteer coordinator, overseeing a team of hundreds without losing, as nominations praised, her “stress-free attitude, positive vibes, and always great sense of humor.”
Githen’s positive example apparently rubbed off: the Rider’s Sportsmanship Award went to Lafayette AQHA High Point Western rider, Rebecca Folk. Folk helped with ‘mock horse show’ draws and was on the Smartpak Award Presentations Team, fitting her own riding in between obligations. “She spent time helping others by giving advice on horses, as well as sharing her notes on the Western horses with other riders who were competing against her in her class,” her nominations cited.
Amy Gregoris received the Volunteer’s Sportsmanship Award for her role as stable coordinator: “She met the needs of each school and more than a hundred horses. She was approachable, helpful, and accommodating!”
Also paying tribute to the 40th edition of America’s oldest and largest intercollegiate equestrian national championships were Executive Deputy Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Michael L. Pechart, and Deputy Secretary for Animal Agriculture, Mathew Meals, while IHSA founder and executive director, Robert Cacchione, announced that a renewal contract had been signed to return to Harrisburg in May 2014.
“IHSA is founded on team spirit, sportsmanship and fun, and these have remained the objectives since inception. We look forward to creating yet another very special event next year,” said Cacchione.
“Thank you for choosing Harrisburg. We look forward to working with you,” confirmed George Greig, Office of the Secretary for the Department of Agriculture, for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The IHSA mission is to promote competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional and national levels. IHSA is based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of financial status or riding level. More than 400 educational institutions in the U.S. and parts of Canada have teams belonging to IHSA, including student academic clubs, JV, and/or varsity programs. Learn more at www.ihsainc.com and connect with more than 6,800 student riders and coaches on Facebook and Twitter @IHSAinc.
Fairfield, Connecticut – May 11, 2012 – Never before in its 39-year history had an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association hunter seat team coach won two IHSA National Championships for two different colleges or universities.
But that was before Mary Drueding. Drueding, already selected by the IHSA nominating committee to receive its Lifetime Achievement Award, demonstrated an irrefutable argument in defense of her coaching excellence and expertise as her St. Lawrence University Saints hunter seat team clinched the IHSA Collegiate Cup during the 2012 National Championships, May 3-6, at the Hunt Horse Arena of the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
Hunter Seat Results
In 1989, while assistant coach for her alma mater, Drueding (’83) and Colby-Sawyer College made their first IHSA National Championship appearance. In 1991, she was made head coach and, three years later, under judge George Morris (one of Drueding’s personal heroes) Colby-Sawyer again had the IHSA National Championship-winning team. Drueding was inducted into the Colby-Sawyer Hall of Fame in 2007.