IHSA National Championship Horse Show Hunter Seat Wrap Up

Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry and SCAD’s Adam Edgar Take Home National Championships

The 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) held their National Championship at the New York State Fairgrounds Exposition Center in Syracuse. Nearly 450 students from across the U.S. and Canada qualified to compete at the event.

The first class of the day was Individual Open Equitation Over Fences, sponsored by Cazenovia College Equestrian Team and Cazenovia College, Adam Edgar earned the national championship with a score of 86. Fortune was shining on Edgar, a sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design, when he drew Lucky, owned by Centenary University. The pair christened the Expo Center arena as the first round of the day.

Lucky was the mount of Centenary University’s Michael Andrade, who recently won the American National Riding Commission (ANRC) national championship, Edgar finished second.

“I was very excited because Mikey (Andrade) and I are always head-to-head,” said Edgar, 19, a sophomore from Leesburg, Virginia. “I've been able to watch him for two years now and he rides him beautifully. I tried to mirror that and just give it a soft ride. He (Lucky) was great, he couldn't have been any better.”

Andrade, a senior from Poughquag, New York, stepped up to win the Open Hunter Seat Equitation championship on the flat. His Centenary University teammate, Madison Myro, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nevada, earned the nod from the judges for the second-place prize. Edgar nabbed the third spot.

In the first phase of the USEF/Cacchione Cup Equitation Over Fences, Edgar produced the leading round aboard Vinny, owned by Miami University of Ohio. The round earned the SCAD student 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 believes 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.”

The Intermont Equestrian program has won 21 national championships since its establishment under Virginia Intermont College. In 2014, Virginia Intermont closed and Emory & Henry College took over the program. Since then, the team has won one IHSA National Championship.

Emory & Henry head coach Heather Richardson said that the hard work began at the beginning of the season. She brought the team together as a group to work on details. Her advice to them was, “to be natural and normal.”

“You know, to come all that way, and be the best out of 400 – these kids are really supportive of each other,” she said. “They make friends for life.

Emory & Henry has 70 students in the equestrian program and 68 horses in the barn. “What we're really trying to do is turn out people that are going to work in the industry,” she said.

It was Bobbie Jo Adsit, a junior from Montpelier, Virginia, who sealed the deal for the Emory & Henry team, by winning the USEF Collegiate Cup Equitation on the Flat, against a field of the top riders in the IHSA, including Edgar, the 2019 USEF/Cacchione Cup winner.

“The Open Flat has been my strongest all year, so it's very exciting,” she said. Adsit has qualified for Nationals for three consecutive years.

Edgar, after leading the first day of competition of the USEF/Cacchione Cup, then clinched the win with a flawless work-off round and won the coveted national championship.

“I have never in my life cried after a round,” said Edgar. “I came here with a goal and I wasn't going to let anything affect that and I accomplished it. We're so lucky. The people who brought horses here have been absolutely amazing. It's been a great, great experience.”

Edgar had seen Clarissimo, owned by Hollins University, during the show and knew he wanted to ride him. He joked that he was the only gray he had not competed with during Nationals. So, when he drew him for the work-off, he was pleased.

“He knew it was time to shine,” Edgar said. “I walked in and picked up a canter. I (thought), alright, you’re game. We got this.”

“I just want to say thank you to Ashland Farms, Bill Shaub and Over the Hill Farm, my coaches Ashley Henry and Tatum (Tatreau), Eddie (Federwisch), everyone at SCAD and everyone that makes this possible,” he said.

Mara Chemerinsky, a junior at Skidmore from Newport Beach, California, competed in the Collegiate Cup Open Equitation Over Fences. The judges selected the top five to test over a shortened course. Riding Lucky, owned by Centenary University, Chemerinsky set herself apart by making a neat inside turn.

“I (thought), ‘I have nothing to lose,’” Chemerinsky said. “He’s so handy.”

Skidmore’s head coach, the much beloved Cindy Ford, will leave her position at the end of this season. “It's really bittersweet because she's such an integral part of our team and we all love working with her and love being with her,” Chemerinsky said.

Centenary University’s Lucky, who produced many top rounds, was awarded the both the SmartPak Most Popular Hunter Seat Horse and the Triple Crown High Point Horse.

Granite, from Penn State University, earned The Jockey Club award for the best performing off-the-track Thoroughbred.

The Collegiate Cup Sportsmanship Awards was presented to St. Lawrence University competitor Caitlin Doocy and Keuka College coach Holly Bedient. The Volunteer award was presented to Patte Zumbrun, for stepping in to lead the volunteers. Carla Wennberg, coach of the Saint Andrews University team and valued member of the board, was presented with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement award.

The IHSA is grateful to all their generous sponsors, the competitors, teams, coaches, volunteers and horses for a successful National Championship Horse Show. We look forward to the 2020 season and next year's National Championships.

IHSA Nationals features 450 men and women from across the U.S. and Canada competing in hunter seat and Western in all levels in divisions from Walk-Trot through Open. The riders have competed throughout the season to qualify and vie for team, individual, alumni championships and the coveted USEF/Cacchione Cup and the AQHA Western High Point Rider national final. In 2019, the IHSA is celebrating 40 years of the Western divisions.

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 in 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 build successful careers.

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

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Media Contact:
Carrie Wirth
EQ Media
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