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MTSU Hosts IHSA Hunt Seat Show
The IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) consists of 400 member colleges, with 10,000 member riders, and is divided into Regions and Zones. On February 13-14, 2016, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) hosted the Hunt Seat show for Zone 5, Region 1 at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, TN.
The Saturday IHSA Hunt Seat show was judged by Linda Shahinian, R from Knoxville, TN. Show Stewards were: Sue Robinson, Becky Huddleston, and Allie Truitt. The Sunday show was judged by Lesley Woodworth, R from Wellington, FL; show Stewards were; Janelle Harcus, Christen Khym and Brandon Gibson. The Announcer for both days was Julia Rhyne.
Hunt Seat classes offered through the weekend included: Open Over Fences, Intermediate Over Fences; Open Flat; Intermediate Flat; Alumni Over Fences; Advanced Walk, Trot, Canter; Novice Over Fences; and Walk /Trot. The unique challenge to the IHSA show is you do not bring your own horse. Instead, riders compete on school horses that the host university provides. With riders ranging from beginner to advanced, MTSU used their own school horses, and alumni from the program also brought in their horses for the competition. Riders are assigned to groups to match their riding ability to the horses’ level.
Anne Brzezicki is the IHSA Coach for MTSU and has been involved with the IHSA organization since 1970. She began at the University of Connecticut, where after graduation she coached for 3 1/2 years before moving to Tennessee. She has seen her MTSU students compete at IHSA Nationals every year since 1989. She expects to see her students also go on to Nationals this year, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park.
MTSU has 10 practice sessions a week, and each student is allowed to attend two per week. Practices are available before and between the classes held at the arena.
Even though Vanderbilt University does not offer any equine/equestrian courses, they do have an IHSA team through their club sports. Janelle Harcus is the IHSA Coach for Vanderbilt, and has watched her students win at Regionals the last two years.
Becky Huddleston, the IHSA Coach for Tennessee Tech, spoke about how IHSA continues to grow as an organization: “The horses are better, coaching is better, we are more well known.” With 18 members on her IHSA team, six were competiting this weekend in the hunt seat division.
The IHSA offers wonderful opportunity for riders of all levels to compete. It also gives the opportunity for someone who has always wanted to learn how to ride, but does not own a horse. IHSA is open to all students attending a University with the program, and it is open to all majors.
For more information about IHSA, visit www.ihsainc.com
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