Tag Archives: IHSA

IHSA Founder Bob Cacchione to Retire from Executive Director Position

Bob Cacchione shakes Lizzy Traband’s hand during Nationals at Harrisburg in 2018. Photo by Madison Dempster.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sept. 3, 2019 – Robert E. “Bob” Cacchione, the charismatic leader of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA), will retire from the executive director position of the organization he founded. Cacchione announced his decision in a letter to the IHSA board of directors, effective Sept. 1. He will continue to promote and support the IHSA and will assume the role of founder emeritus. Peter Cashman, IHSA second vice president and co-coach of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s equestrian team, will assume the role of interim executive director until a formal board election will take place June 2020.

“It’s been a great ride,” Cacchione said. “It’s been my passion and my life’s work. Never did I dream that it would be what it is today. I want to thank all the dedicated coaches and past and current board members for working to build this great organization. It has been an honor. The IHSA is in capable hands and will continue to grow and thrive. I’ll still be around to advise and help in any way I can.”

Cacchione has made a profound impact on the equestrian world. As many as 250,000 men and women have participated in the IHSA since 1967 when he founded the organization as an 18-year-old student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. Cacchione’s brainchild was born out of his determination to find a way to ride while in college without the financial support of his parents. He and mentor and adviser Jack Fritz, a renowned horseman active in the governance of several equestrian disciplines, developed the prototype of IHSA competition, which included catch-riding appropriate horses, drawn out of a hat, that were supplied by host schools.

Launched with just two colleges competing in hunter seat equitation, the IHSA was praised for its innovative format and quickly caught on. In 1979 the Western divisions premiered at the IHSA National Championship Horse Show. In 1999, IHSA Inc. was established as a nonprofit organization.

The organization now has over 400 participating colleges and universities and 10,000 members. IHSA is comprised of 39 regions in 8 eight zones in 47 states and Canada. Because the IHSA offers all levels of competition, from beginner through advanced, and offers college students a way to learn to how to ride, it makes a significant impact on the grassroots development of the equestrian sports.

IHSA members make up 10 percent of the membership of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and the IHSA is credited for being the single greatest source of new members to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

Some of the most notable riders in show jumping and the Western disciplines competed in the IHSA during their college years. Four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden competed for Southern Seminary and won the Cacchione Cup in 1984. Olympic gold medalist Peter Wylde won the Cacchione Cup in 1986 while he attended Tufts University.

As executive director for 52 years, Cacchione has proudly led the IHSA, shaking the hands of every competitor at the IHSA National Championship Horse Show and working tirelessly alongside board members who have become lifelong friends. With his devotion to the IHSA and the number of lives it has impacted, Cacchione is regularly recognized and acknowledged during his travels by people from all walks of life who once participated in the IHSA.

“From September to May, I traveled to a show every weekend,” he said. “I’ve loved it, but I look forward to less travel and more time with family.”

Cacchione has been recognized for his commitment to college riding with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award, the USHJA Presidents Distinguished Service Award, US Equestrian/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary College, and the American Horse Publications Equine Industry Vision Award. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Gentlemen’s Committee of the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

IHSA Announces Western Riders for AQHA Horsemanship Challenge

2013 IHSA AQHA High Point Rider, Austin Griffith, riding Little Bill. Photo credits: Rich Ormanowski.

Fairfield, CT — June 18, 2013 – The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association is pleased to announce eight IHSA Western Horsemanship riders have been selected to participate in the 2013 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsemanship Challenge, November 20-21, during the AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The IHSA riders selected include the 2013 IHSA National Championships’ AQHA High Point Rider (Austin Griffith, Ohio State University) and reserve AQHA High Point Rider (Ashley Winters, University of Findlay, who continued her season despite the grief of losing her AQHA show horse to cancer), and a member of the 2013 IHSA National Championships High Point Western Team, Julia Roberts, of West Texas A&M University, who was also selected in 2012 but was competing in collegiate judging (she and her WTAMU team went on to become reserve champions). Emily Honey, of Oregon State University, represents the second (Elizabeth Whitman, 2012) consecutive time OSU riders have earned a slot in the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge.

The complete list of IHSA riders selected for the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge is as follows:

Julia Roberts, West Texas A&M University
Austin Griffith, Ohio State University
Douglas Mohr, Ball State University
Emily Honey, Oregon State University
Alissa Frederick, Black Hawk College
Rebecca Strunk, Clemson University
Ashley Winters, University of Findlay
Kodi Anderson, North Central Texas College

Austin Griffith, a business and marketing major at Ohio State, cited both hard work and the IHSA as integral to the path leading him to OKC. The newly-minted AQHA High Point Rider from the 2013 IHSA National Championships is also a two-time (2008, 2009) winner at AQHA Congress.

“I was so excited when I received the invitation,” says the IHSA National’s 2013 reserve AQHA High Point Rider, Ashley Winters, a freshman majoring in Environmental Safety and Occupational Health and Western Equestrian Studies at The University of Findlay. “During the show season I lost my AQHA show horse to cancer. This was an extremely hard time for me and the only way to cope was to keep riding. I knew the open level was going to be really tough and worked really hard, practicing five times a week for reining and horsemanship. The Findlay IHSA Team has wonderful coaches. At Nationals, their advice was to go out there and show them what a freshman can do.” Now she gets her chance to show them at AQHA Worlds.

For Douglas Mohr, who will represent Ball State, it’s a dream come true. “Ever since hearing of the AQHA Collegiate Challenge, it’s been a dream to be selected and represent my university, and now that dream is a reality. It’s a huge honor to be one of eight IHSA riders picked, and I am very grateful. To be surrounded by the best collegiate riders will be a humbling and rewarding experience.” Mohr will pursue a Master’s in Occupational Therapy, having just earned his Bachelor’s in Exercise Science.

Rebecca Strunk is also among the IHSA 8
Rebecca Strunk is also among the IHSA 8

Animal and Veterinary Science major, Rebecca Strunk (’15), adds, “I was honestly shocked to be invited to this prestigious event. It makes all the long hours of practice worth it. It’s an honor to represent Clemson University and hope to do so to the best of my abilities.”

The eight collegiate equestrian athletes representing their educational institutions in the Challenge were selected based on their 2012-13 individual statistics for horsemanship. Preliminary AQHA Horsemanship Challenge competition will take place Wednesday, November 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge finals will be held the evening of November 21. Three IHSA alternates have also been identified, pending availability of the original eight candidates.

About IHSA

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.

IHSA Media Liaison:
L. A. Pomeroy
(413) 586-6121
PomeroyLA@aol.com
www.ihsainc.com

IHSA to Celebrate 40 Years of America’s Oldest and Largest Collegiate Equestrian National Championships

Fairfield, CT – April 28, 2013 – In 1973 there were no cell phones, home computers, smart cars or internet but there were a determined handful of college coaches and teams who met in good-natured competition for what became the first annual Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships. This May 2-5, the Equine Arena of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg will host the 40th celebration of what are now the oldest and largest collegiate equestrian national championships in America, bringing together more than two dozen teams and 400 individual riders who qualified through regional and zone finals for the privilege of competing as college riding’s best of the best.

Following the conclusion of western Semi Finals and hunter seat Zone Finals, the following teams, respectively, have qualified:

Western teams:

  • Zone 1/2 SUNY-Oswego
  • Zone 3/4 St. Andrews University
  • Zone 5 Middle Tennessee State University
  • Zone 6 Ohio State University, University of Findlay, University of Kentucky
  • Zone 7 West Texas A&M University
  • Zone 8 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Hunter seat champion/reserve teams:

  • Zone 1 Mount Holyoke College/University of New Hampshire
  • Zone 2 St. Lawrence University/Skidmore College
  • Zone 3 Centenary College/Delaware Valley College
  • Zone 4 St. Andrews University/Goucher College
  • Zone 5 Berry College/Savannah College of Art & Design
  • Zone 6 Otterbein University/University of Findlay
  • Zone 7 Purdue University/Louisiana State University
  • Zone 8 Stanford University/University of Colorado-Boulder

Find lists of IHSA National team, individual, high point rider and alumni entries: https://members.ihsainc.com/publicnationals/nationalentries.aspx.

The Nationals’ strong support includes partners AQHA, USHJA, USEF, and NRHA. NRHA President, Beth Himes, will attend Saturday, May 4, as will 1996 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Silver medalist Peter Leone, to autograph copies of his book, Show Jumping Clinic (provided among hunter seat awards).

National Show Hunter Hall of Famer/CA Professional Horsemen’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bernie Traurig of EquestrianCoach.com will present Excellence Awards offering internships with Missy Clark or Tim McQuay, and an Antares Helmet or $500 Pards Western Shop gift certificate.

Streaming video coverage be through the EPCO Group. Those who cannot attend Harrisburg can follow embedded links on IHSAinc.com and the IHSA Facebook page.

Thanks to Florida State University IHSA Western coach Jean Anthony, Wind Creek Casino and Hotel will sponsor NRHA Inside Reining coverage of IHSA western and reining classes for its July programming schedule with host Jenifer Reynolds, who began covering news and rodeo in Oklahoma City, earning a DuPont-Columbia Award for broadcast journalism while in college (the only student to ever do so).

New sponsors and vendors include Green Valley Tack, on site and providing Ariat Olympia, Pikeur, and Frantisi Grand Prix riding wear. Mental skills coach Tonya Johnston’s new book, Inside Your Ride, is among the awards as are free coaching sessions for one lucky rider. New this year are the personalized services of Signature Spurs and Bains Whips, plus Ariat, EquiFit, Flex Trunk, Noble Equine, Parlanti, RJ Classics, Samshield and Valley Vet.

In addition to support at Regionals and Zones/Semi-Finals, SmartPak Equine will sponsor 25 team gift baskets, silent auction items, and Hunt Seat Horse of the Show and Western Horse of the Show award packages including a year of SmartPak supplements, bridle or headstall, and engraved plaque.

The IHSA appreciates the enduring support of BridlePlates.com, Charles Owen, Chronicle of the Horse, Collegiate, ECE Equestrian Collection, Hodges Badge, Hoof and Woof, IPPOS, Oakcroft, Perri’s Leather, Phelps Media Group, Revitavet, Total Equestrian and Weatherbeeta.

The show program cover artist is Judy Goldthwait, a 1998 graduate of Cazenovia College with a BFA in Commercial Illustration, whose commissions include IHSA and New England Equitation Championships.

At noon, Saturday, May 4, IHSA athletes will welcomed by Harrisburg Mayor, Linda D. Thompson, before scholarship presentations and awarding of the USEF/Cacchione Cup.

“We deeply appreciate the diverse support of our industry,” said show manager, Bill Yeager.

Admission and parking are free to the public and are a chance for families looking at colleges and scholarship opportunities to learn what is available for students while finding top-notch riding and boutique shopping experiences.

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.

IHSA Media Liaison:
L. A. Pomeroy
(413) 586-6121
PomeroyLA@aol.com
www.ihsainc.com

IHSA among Top Four Finalists Selected for 12th Annual Equine Industry Vision Award

Fairfield, CT – April 23, 2013 – The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) is among the four finalists for the 2013 Equine Industry Vision Award. Sponsored by Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), the award is intended to recognize innovation, leadership and service. Judges praised this year’s record number of nominees, hailing from nine states, Canada and New Zealand, as outstanding examples of these qualities. Prior EIVA winners, which may be individuals or organizations, include IHSA executive director Robert E. Cacchione (2011).

The six members of the Equine Industry Vision Award Committee reviewed the nominations and narrowed 21 nominees to four finalists: Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), CT; Tootie Bland, Owner/Producer of Road to the Horse, TX; Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), KY; and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Int’l.), CO.

The remaining 17 nominees included: Active Interest Media, “Home For Every Horse” program, CO; Dr. Gregory Beroza, Founder, Long Island Equine Medical Center, NY; Michael Blowen, Founder, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement, KY; John Byrd, DVM, Founder and Owner of Horsemen’s Laboratory, IL; Keith Chamblin, Sr. VP, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, KY; Ellen DiBella, Founder, Western Dressage Association of America, CO; Darrell Dodds, Publisher, Western Horseman Magazine, TX; EquiBalance Horse Trailers, New Zealand; Equine Guelph, Canada; Interscholastic Equestrian Association, OH; Charles H. (Chuck) Mintzlaff, Founder of Friendship Training, TX; Lynda Roemer, Owner and Director of Equine Rescue, Inc., NY; Jochen Schleese, Owner/Founder of Schleese Saddlery, Canada; Mark Sellers, Founder and CEO of EquiMed LLC, CA; Eugenia Snyder, Founder and President, Equine Affaire, Inc., OH; Linda Tellington-Jones, Founder of TTEAM and TTouch, HI; Lyndsey White, Co-Founder of Rider4Helmets, KY.

The AHP Board of Directors, plus a Zoetis representative, voted for the winner. Finalists were judged on their performance in relation to the achievement(s) cited and their demonstration of the following attributes and abilities: 1) The vision and innovation of a true pioneer; 2) Leadership, commitment, dedication and willingness to serve; 3) Original and effective ideas and/or products, services, programs; 4) High moral, ethical and professional standards.

The official announcement and presentation of the award will be made at the Equine Industry Vision Award Breakfast on Friday, June 21, 2013 during the AHP Meet the Peak Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The recipient will be presented with the EIVA Perpetual Trophy, created by master artisan Peter Wayne Yenawine, and the first to showcase innovation across the equine industry. It is intended to serve as a unique recognition of ingenuity and service, and benefit the industry by inspiring these qualities in others. The EIVA recognizes outstanding leadership, creativity and meritorious contributions in the equine industry.

Prior recipients: Alexander Mackay-Smith (2002), Don Burt (2003), AQHA (2004), John R. Gaines (2005), Stanley Bergstein (2006), David O’Connor (2007), Sally Swift (2008), Charlotte Kneeland (2009), John Nicholson (2010), Robert E. Cacchione (2011), and ELCR (2012).

About IHSA
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.

IHSA Media Liaison:
L. A. Pomeroy
(413) 586-6121
PomeroyLA@aol.com
www.ihsainc.com

More Than Good Horse Sense: IHSA Rider among Rhodes Scholars for 2nd Time in Two Years

Rhodes Scholar Rachel Kolb aboard Ronny. Photos courtesy Stanford Univ/IHSA

Fairfield, CT – December 5, 2012 – Stride for stride, solid horse sense leads to scholarly achievement. For the second time in two years, the Rhodes Trust has awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association college equestrian athlete to pursue post-graduate study at Oxford University.

This year’s recipient is IHSA hunter seat rider Rachel Kolb of Los Ranchos, NM, who is in her second year as president of the Stanford Equestrian Team, and co-terminal year at Stanford (CA) University (i.e., she will graduate this year with a BA in English/minor in Human Biology and a Masters in English).

Kolb is Stanford’s 2012 IHSA Regional Champion in Intermediate Flat and Fences, and has twice helped bring the team to the national Top Ten: At the 2010 IHSA Nationals, in Team Intermediate Fences, where Stanford finished fourth, and again at the 2011 IHSA National Championships, in Team Intermediate Flat (Stanford placed sixth).

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Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and NRHA Score a Plus with 2012 Partnership

Fairfield, Connecticut – April 2, 2012 – The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) is proud to announce that the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) embraced its role as official sponsor for the IHSA Western Semi-Finals, leading up to the 2012 IHSA National Championships, May 3-6, at the Hunt Horse Complex of the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

“The rapidly expanding support of the Western Semi-Finals by the NRHA has enabled our riders to enjoy a greatly enhanced program,” said IHSA national treasurer, Naomi Blumenthal, who also credited Ohio State University IHSA Western team coach and IHSA Associate National Steward/Director at Large, Ollie Griffith, with negotiating the agreement.  “We hope he knows how grateful everyone is for bringing NRHA into our corporate family.”

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Olympian Peter Leone Presents Soon to Be Released Book to Annual Meeting of the IHSA in Orlando

Peter Cashman from West Point, Peter Leone, Naomi Blumenthal, and IHSA Founder and Executive Director, Bob Cacchione

Orlando, Florida – January 5, 2012 – Olympian Peter Leone joined members of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Board of Directors at their annual meeting held in Orlando, FL to celebrate the launch of his new book, Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies for Equestrian Athletes. Leone’s book, written along with Kimberly S. Jaussi, PhD, herself an avid rider, writer and leadership professor and coach, explores every aspect of riding from the basics of correct use of aids through to the psychology of approaching a World Cup course. The book employs diagrams, exercises and anecdotes, as well as photos featuring riders such as McLain Ward, Richard Spooner and Georgina Bloomberg, as models demonstrating concepts from his text. Coaches, such as Eddie Federwisch from Virginia Intermont College, lauded the publication of the book as a comprehensive modern textbook on riding. Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies for Equestrian Athletes is slick and easy to read with a fresh format and catchy phrases that stick with you.

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IHSA, ANRC, IDA and NCAA Representatives to Speak at Seminars during 2012 College Preparatory Invitational

Eddie Federwisch

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.

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2011 IHSA National Championships – A Preview to the Road to Lexington

Fairfield, CT — In poker it’s called re-shuffling the deck, and when the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) announced at the start of the 2010 semester that it had realigned its nine Zones to eight – changing the geography of its competitive regions and impacting coaching strategies – it promised to make the road to the 2011 IHSA National Championships, May 5-8, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, an interesting one.

With Regional and Zone Championships, and Western Semi-Finals, still ahead for the 370-plus schools and more than 8,700 students competing this 2010-2011 season, a lot can happen between now and May. But with the close of the fall semester, team and individual performances are beginning to suggest where Nationals candidates might emerge.

Zone Hunter Seat Championships and Western Semi-Finals this spring represent the final step for qualifying IHSA teams and individuals. Each Region sends its top individual riders and one team to their respective Hunter Seat Zone Championship; at Zones, the top two individual riders and top two teams move on to Nationals.

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IHSA’s Bob Cacchione Selected as USEF/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award Recipient

WELLINGTON, FL – January 9, 2011 – Bob Cacchione, Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), will be honored as the recipient of The EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award presented by The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). The presentation will take place on January 21, 2011, at the USEF Pegasus Awards Dinner during the Federation’s Annual Meeting in Lexington, KY.

The EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award is a celebration of the humanitarian achievements made by a member of the equestrian world.  Specifically, the goal of this humanitarian honor is to spotlight and exalt the selfless dedication one individual or a group of individuals has made, whether on a regional or national scale. From improving the health and welfare of the horse to promoting and expanding the general public’s appreciation and respect of the diverse roles of horses, the recipient of this award will be someone who has devoted considerable personal time to making the lives and quality of life of our equine partners paramount.

“I am totally overwhelmed with this honor; especially being recognized by my peers,” said Cacchione. “To be acknowledged for what I have tried to do for the youth of the equestrian world with the creation and development of the IHSA is just incredibly meaningful.”

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