IHSA Alumnae Takes Top Prize of the THIS NHS Adult Equitation Championship
Athletes from the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) demonstrated their equitation skills at the National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky, in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship. The leadership of the National Horse Show invited qualified IHSA members to participate in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship, the feature class Oct. 26.
The IHSA contributed seven talented riders to the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship. The championship included three phases: the first jumping round, the top 15 riders returned for the flat phase and a second round over fences. The judges ranked the class without an added optional test. Course designer Bobby Murphy designed the tracks that tested the abilities of the horse-and-rider combinations.
After the first championship round, IHSA riders Madison Myro and Kayla Jacobs and IHSA alumnae, Elizabeth Chenelle, were all named to the top group for the flat phase. After the final round, the judges awarded Jacobs the fifth-place prize overall and the top placing among the IHSA entries. The championship went to IHSA alum Chenelle who maintained her first-place ranking with a brilliant second round.
Chenelle, from Hebron, Connecticut, attended Liberty University and was seventh in the Cacchione Cup at IHSA Nationals in 2017. She complimented her partner, Dimacho, a 12-year-old-Oldenburg gelding owned by A. Farr.
"The horse that I am riding was amazing and he won this class last year. So, I felt honored to ride him this year," Chenelle said. "The lines were set well so that if you went inside, you got the right number, and if you stayed too far out you were not quite there. I think it was a good test for everybody."
Jacobs from Savannah, Georgia, is a junior studying nursing at Georgia Southern University and rides on the IHSA team coached by Eleanor Ellis.
“I actually had never jumped a real course on him until Thursday,” Jacobs said of her mount, Dia Caspar (Diarado x Paspertina), an 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by her friend Rebecca Patterson. “He's just the best– he has so much personality. He gave me his all the whole weekend. I couldn't have asked for a better horse.”
Outside of her IHSA competition, Jacobs trains with Josh Dolan, but this was Jacobs’ first experience at indoors. As icing on the cake, she was presented with the Best Turned-Out Award, presented by the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation. She credits her mother, Elizabeth Jacobs, who stepped in as her groom for the weekend, for keeping Dia Caspar turned out to the nines.
Friday and earlier in the day Saturday, the National Horse Show held the Adult Equitation division. IHSA riders Myro and Arielle LoGiudice distinguished themselves by earning the championship and reserve championship respectively. Friday Myro, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada, won the flat class and was second over fences. Then she and Chicago Hope, owned by Jessica Tuck, followed up with another second over fences to secure the championship. LoGiudice, also a sophomore from Freehold, New Jersey, aboard Katy Merchant’s Clooney II, nabbed the win over fences and the red ribbon on the flat. Myro and LoGiudice are both students at Centenary University, study Equine Studies and are coached by Michael Dowling and Heather Clark.
“It's unlike any show I've been to so far– it was truly incredible,” Myro said of her experience at the National Horse Show.“
As another testament to the catch-riding skills of the IHSA riders, Myro and Chicago Hope, (Candidatus x Ganny) a 13-year-old Wesphalian gelding, are also a recent partnership. “I have jumped him maybe two or three times,” she said.
Myro was the 2019 IHSA Open on the Flat national champion. This year, her goal is to qualify for Nationals and earn a top placing in the two Open divisions and in the Cacchione Cup. While at school, she is a working student at Windham Hill for Michael Dowling and Michael Myers.
Jacobs, also performed well in the division, earning a third and a seventh over fences and a third on the flat. Taylor Schissel, a Biomedical Engineering student from Los Alamitos, California, who rides with Boston University’s IHSA team, took a third-place prize over fences riding Coach Phyllis Cervelli’s Castle Walk.
The invitation for the IHSA riders to compete in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championship was welcomed as part of an initiative to showcase the organization to the greater equestrian audience. The effort is spearheaded by IHSA board member and co-coach of the Centenary University team, Michael Dowling. In April 2019, the IHSA was invited to hold a special catch-ride class at Longines Masters New York, livestreamed to 30 countries. He hopes to expand the special event calendar to introduce more people to the IHSA.
“I think it's great that they're promoting the IHSA,” Myro said. “I feel like a lot of people don't know that it does such amazing things for college students and it allows us to continue to compete.”
“My team is like my family,” added Jacobs. “It's just been a lot of fun. It's just so different from when it's just you and your horse. When you're on a team it's a whole different aspect. It levels the playing field.”
IHSA Founder Emeritus Bob Cacchione was on hand to watch the IHSA riders compete. He serves as vice chairman of the Gentlemen’s Committee of the National Horse Show and played double-duty cheering on the IHSA riders and presenting awards.
“Many thanks to Jennifer Burger, Mason Phelps, Geoff Teall and Cindy Bozan and the entire National Horse Show for making this happen,” Cacchione said. “We were thrilled to be a part of this storied event – one that’s so near-and-dear to my heart.”
RIDER - HOMETOWN - COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY - TEAM COACH - MAJOR - YEAR GRADUATES
Lanie Bricker - Evanston, Illinois - Boston University - Phyllis Cervelli – Neuroscience – 2021
Kayla Jacobs - Savannah, Georgia - Georgia Southern University - Eleanor Ellis - Nursing - 2021
Zoe Lewczak - Nokesville, Virginia - University of Virginia - Claiborne Bishop - Cognitive Science/ Neuroscience - 2021
Arielle LoGiudice - Freehold, New Jersey - Centenary University - Michael Dowling - Equine Studies - 2022
Madison Myro - Las Vegas, Nevada - Centenary University - Michael Dowling - Equine Studies - 2022
Meaggan Niesen - Cincinnati, Ohio - Miami University - Heather Pinnick - Psychology and Family Science - 2021
Taylor Schissel - Los Alamitos, California - Boston University - Phyllis Cervelli - Biomedical Engineering - 2022
The IHSA was founded in 1967 by Robert Cacchione while he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. The organization was established so that any full-time college student could participate in equestrian competition regardless of economic status, gender or riding level and offers Hunter Seat and Western competition at eight levels from Walk-Trot through Open divisions for both male and female college athletes. The IHSA emphasizes learning and sportsmanship and fosters teamwork. The organization has grown to include 400 member teams and 10,000 members encompassing 39 Regions, 8 Zones and 45 states and Canada. College or university teams, individuals, alumni and coaches may become members.
Photos available upon request.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL HORSE SHOW
Founded in 1883, the National Horse Show is the culmination of the East Coast summer equestrian season. With $716,000 in prize money offered, the National Horse Show has been designated a CSI4*-W event by the FEI. The highly-anticipated $225,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4* returns this year on Nov. 2, 2019, at 7 p.m. International Open Jumpers will compete for almost half a million dollars in prize money, while the top-rated hunter sections will vie for a total purse of $190,000. For six consecutive years, the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame named the National Horse Show the Horse Show of the Year.
To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.
Photos available upon request.