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IHSA National Championships


Compiled by Nancy Brannon, with contributions from Robin Duff, MTSU

The 50th anniversary of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Championships was held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY May 4-7, 2017 in the Alltech Arena. Bob Cacchione (with the help of his professor Jack Fritz) formed The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association in 1967 when Bob was an 18-year-old sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. This year he and the IHSA are celebrating their 50 year anniversary.

Bob founded the IHSA on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows, regardless of their financial status or riding level. Students ride horses that are furnished by the host college and chosen by drawing lots. Since riders are unable to school, ride horses they own, or use personal tack, the IHSA levels the playing field and is a true test of horsemanship. Riders compete at every level ranging from walk/trot to Open (a division that often is populated with the top riders from the Medal/Maclay division).

Another aspect of the IHSA is that all divisions count equally. So the points of a Walk/Trot rider count just as much as the points of an Open Rider.

Beginning with just two intercollegiate competing colleges, the IHSA now encompasses 40 Regions in eight Zones with almost 400 member colleges in 45 states and Canada, representing nearly 10,000 riders in Hunter Seat Equitation, Western Horsemanship, and Reining. The IHSA partners with USHJA, the AQHA, the NRHA and US Equestrian.

Several riders from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and other mid-south colleges did well at the 2017 IHSA National Championships.

MTSU’s Kelsey Sloan, a junior Horse Science major from Collierville, Tennessee, represented Zone 5/Region 1 in the high point rider Cacchione Cup. She rode on the flat and over fences, placing third out of a field of 38 riders and received a $300 scholarship.

MTSU’s Delaney Rostad, a senior Horse Science major from Maryville, Tennessee, placed fifth in Individual Open Reining and 16th in the AQHA High Point Western Rider cup.

MTSU’s Lauren King, a senior Business Management major from Arrington, Tennessee, placed third in Individual Open Reining and qualified to compete in the Collegiate Challenge at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby in June.

Also from this region, Caroline Biggs from Vanderbilt was the National Champion in Hunter Seat Novice Equitation on the Flat.

MTSU’s Lindsey Ross, a junior Criminal Justice major from Maryville, Tennessee, placed third in Individual Novice Over Fences.

In Hunter Seat Open Equitation Over Fences (Individual), University of the South’s Michael Wallace placed fourth.
In Advanced Western Horsemanship (Individual), MTSU’s Morgan Bowie was Reserve Champion at the semi-finals.
Congratulations to these successful mid-south riders!

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