Carla Wennberg Honored with IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Lifetime Achievement Award is a prestigious accolade bestowed upon a board member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, commitment and exemplary service to the association. This year’s IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Carla Wennberg, meets the criteria with her life’s work, positive outlook and dedication to her students.

“Carla has given tirelessly to the organization and we are proud to present her with this award,” said Bob Cacchione, executive director and founder of the IHSA. “As the IHSA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Western divisions and its relationship with the AQHA, it is fitting that Wennberg is recognized for her service. The IHSA is proud to have such an outstanding person on the board.”

Coach of the St. Andrews University IHSA team, Wennberg has worked tirelessly to coach the next generation of top equestrians. In addition to coaching, she is also a longtime AQHA and NRHA judge, served as an FEI Reining Steward and is the former Director of Reining for the United States Equestrian Team.

A graduate of the University of Georgia, Wennberg joined the St. Andrews University staff in 2006 as the head Western coach. Her previous university experience includes six years at Colorado State University, five years at the University of Georgia and nearly five years at Martin Community College.

“When I started working with Peggy (McElveen, director of equestrian programs at St. Andrews University), I just knew that we were all in, and that means not only for our university but everything,” Wennberg said. “You’ve got to be all in.”

As a three-time winner of the World Championships at AQHA Youth Worlds, as well as the All-Around Youth at American Quarter Horse Congress, winning the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award is a well-deserved addition to Wennberg’s long list of accomplishments. She proves that  to be a talented and dedicated horse person, means your skills can translate across discipline boundaries. In addition to her success in the Western disciplines, she also earned a United States Dressage Federation bronze and silver medals. In 2008 she was honored as AQHA Horsewoman of the Year, and in 2010, she served as a FEI steward for reining at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

As a coach, Wennberg led her St. Andrews University Western team to top titles. Together, they earned two IHSA National Championships, a Reserve National Championship and qualified for nine Nationals qualifiers. In 2018, her St. Andrews University student, Connor Smith, won the AQHA High Point Rider championship at Nationals. In 2012, she was awarded IHSA Sportsmanship Coach of the Year.

“It's such a great organization,” she said. “It's taught me so many great lessons – pushing people to the next different level – getting along, respecting other coaches, being happy to win and gracious to lose. I think that's so cool.”

Wennberg joins a long list of exceptional horsemen and women who have been recognized by IHSA for their commitment to the organization. The list includes:

2018 Megan Taylor
2017 Peggy McElveen
2016 Lori Cramer
2015 Patte Zumbrun
2014 Eddie Federwisch
2013 Sally Batton
2012 Mary Drueding
2011 Cindy Ford
2010 Peter Cashman
2009 Teresa McDonald
2008 Jon Conyers
2007 Nancy Peterson
2006 Janice Callahan
2005 Jim Arrigon
2004 Olie Griffith
2003 Anne Brzezicki
2002 Jerry Steinmetz
2000 Sue Payne
1999 Naomi Blumenthal
1998 CJ Law
1997 Jane Flynn
1996 Claiborne and Tom Bishop
1995 Bob Cacchione
1994 George Lukemire
1993 Joan Johnson

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) welcomes men and women of all riding levels and offers individual and team competition in hunter seat equitation, Western horsemanship and reining at more than 400 member colleges and universities. Membership in IHSA means that college students can participate at horse shows regardless of their experience or financial status. Students compete at eight levels from beginner through advanced with suitable, provided horses, eliminating the expense of horse ownership. Founded in 1967 by Bob Cacchione, it is the oldest and largest intercollegiate equestrian organization with 10,000 members in 47 states and Canada. IHSA college and university team participation is represented through a variety of programs including varsity athletics, academic departments and club sports. IHSA offers valuable hands-on experience and professional development in multiple facets of the equine industry. Many IHSA teams participate in service projects, giving back to their communities. Through the IHSA, students enhance their college experience and develop the tools that help to build successful careers.

For more information go to or contact

Photos available upon request.

Media Contact:
Carrie Wirth
EQ Media
(612) 209-0310



AHP has not verified the factual statements in any message and AHP assumes no responsibility for the contents of, or any damage resulting from, any communication in the Newsgroup. Publication in the Newsgroup is not an endorsement by the organization of any product, person, or policy.