SCAD’s Adam Edgar and Middle Georgia State University’s Gavin Wright receive judges’ high-scores.
The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) held a results celebration broadcast of their final online horse show of the 2020/2021 season on April 15. Vice President Kelly Francfort shared class winners, judges’ high-score riders and online series champions of the Spring Showcase II Online Horse Show, powered by DigitalHorseShow.com. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and Cazenovia College took the team championship honors while SCAD’s Adam Edgar and Middle Georgia State University’s Gavin Wright received judges’ high scores.
Spring Showcase II was the most popular of the three-series online shows and featured hundreds of entries of all levels of hunter seat and Western riders from member colleges and universities across the country. The members submitted videos of their flatwork, rounds over fences and patterns. Hunter seat judge Robert Crandall and Western judge Courtney Fuller reviewed, scored and gave valuable feedback as part of the DigitalHorseShow.com competition platform.
“There was a tremendous number of entries,” Crandall said. “The levels were put together quite well. They suited each other. I had a couple of classes where the scores weren’t below 85. There were strong, strong riders.”
“With the online format, it allows me to give more feedback,” Fuller said. “It allows me to give a few good comments and a few critical comments. I always try to start with something they can be proud of and give some feedback on some things they can work on.”
Adam Edgar, a SCAD senior from Leesburg, Virginia, took the top call in Open Equitation Over Fences, with a score of 90, securing the title of champion high-score hunter seat rider. Edgar also won the Open Equitation on the Flat with a score of 89 and joined a four-way tie for reserve high-score honors. The Open divisions included many strong performances, with a respectable score of 83 as the lowest score.
In 2019, Edgar earned the Cacchione Cup, the IHSA’s most prestigious title for its top-level hunter seat riders. Hennessy, owned by SCAD, his mount for the Spring Showcase II, was also his mount for the 2019 ANRC National Championship, where they were the reserve champions.
“Hennessy is the love of my life,” Edgar said about his Spring Showcase II mount. “When I was at Ashland Farms, he was in and out of the barn on leases. It all worked out perfectly. He was going to get a forever home at SCAD and I was going to get to ride him.”
It was Edgar’s first time competing in an online format. He shared that SCAD had given the thumbs up for students to ride in a slight easing of the college’s COVID-19 protocols just weeks before. The team only had a few practices to get back in the swing of IHSA competition.
“A lot of the times, we ride horses we don’t know,” he said. “It was nice to showcase the relationships that we have developed with our horses within SCAD.”
Edgar’s SCAD teammate, freshman Lindsey Hurley from Rochester, New York, tied for the reserve high score and nabbed the second-place spot in Open Equitation Over Fences with SCAD’s Ringo.
Saint Lawrence University’s Megan Grady, a senior from Fairfield, Connecticut, also scored an 89 and won her World Equestrian Center Limit Equitation Over Fences section. Grady will graduate this spring with a degree in psychology.
Jacob Connell had the highest score of the 50 entries of the World Equestrian Center Limit Equitation on the Flat, winning his section of the class and rounding out the tie for the reserve high-score of the hunter seat divisions. He also won the blue ribbon in his section of World Equestrian Center Limit Equitation Over Fences. Connell, from Ellicott City, Maryland, is a freshman at Goucher College majoring in psychology-pre-med. Throughout the three IHSA online horse shows, Connell’s results earned him the series championship of the World Equestrian Center Limit Equitation on the Flat.
SCAD, led by head coach Ashley Henry, came back strong from their first effort after a COVID-19 break from practice and competition to win the team championship of the Spring Showcase II Online Horse Show, powered by DigitalHorseShow.com. She talked about her strategy for getting going after a year off.
“We tried to make it as welcoming as possible,” Henry said. “I tried to pair everyone with old friends – as far as their horses – so they felt comfortable. Just knowing that we’ve got the right basics and all of our principles are there, it’s just about dusting off the boots and jumping back into the tack again.”
St. Lawrence University, led by head coach Mary Drueding, had strong performances throughout the three IHSA online horse shows and earned the Hunter Seat team series championship. The Sweet Briar College team took home the series reserve championship.
In the Western divisions, Gavin Wright from Middle Georgia State University won the judge’s high score with an 86 in Level II Western Horsemanship and won the blue ribbon. The junior from Bonaire, Georgia, had scheduling issues with work and couldn’t make it to the team’s facility to record his pattern. He spoke with Allie Arrington, the Middle Georgia State University Western coach, on the phone to get pointers on the pattern and competed his own horse Art I Sue at his home barn. His mother shot the video.
“Given that my horse is not a finished horsemanship horse, I had some difficulties,” Wright said. “It took me a bit to get her in the groove of things.” He credits his coach for his success.
“As far as coaching, it doesn’t get any better,” he said. “All the kudos go to Coach Allie.”
Wright won the series championship of the IHSA online horse show for his patterns in Level II Horsemanship and was series reserve champion in Level II Ranch Riding. He looks forward to the fall and hopefully competing in a full schedule his senior year.
Emily DeJong earned the second-place prize in Level II Western Horsemanship and the reserve high score from the judge. She was partnered with Cazenovia College’s Tari for her performance. The Cazenovia College senior from West Orange, New Jersey, will graduate with a degree in Equine Business Management.
DeJong and her teammates’ top-notch results contributed to Cazenovia College’s success during the IHSA Spring Showcase II and earned them the Western team championship of the show. Though the team was not allowed to compete in person this year, Cazenovia’s Western Coach Dawn Gilbert-Bolson took advantage that the team could practice and use the facility while following COVID protocols.
“It’s been a blessing to have the online horse shows, not just for our seniors, but also to keep all of our riders sharp,” Gilbert-Bolson said. “We approached this just as we would a regular IHSA show. It was important to give my young riders, the freshmen and sophomores, as close the real experience as possible.”
Middle Georgia State University (MGSU) were Western team champions of the IHSA Inaugural Online Horse Show in December and repeated the honor with strong performances submitted for the Spring Showcase I. The team received additional accolades for Spring Showcase II and took home the series championship for the Western divisions. The Cazenovia College Western team earned the series reserve championship.
IHSA alumni were well-represented in the hunter seat and Western divisions. Alexandra Stock, an alumna of the University of North Texas, nabbed the top spot in Alumni Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat class with a top score of 80. Sandy Rose, a College of St. Elizabeth alumna, also scored an 80 for the blue ribbon in the Alumni Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences class and clinched the IHSA online series championship. Dee Cook, who represented on the University of Connecticut, took the IHSA online horse show series championship title for Alumni Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat
In the Western division, Taylor Day, who attended Ohio State University, won both the Alumni Western Horsemanship and Alumni Ranch Riding classes. Tammy Cranouski (Westfield State University) was named IHSA online series champion for both the Alumni Western Horsemanship and Alumni Ranch Riding classes.
During the IHSA Spring Showcase II broadcast, the IHSA Spring Horsemanship Quiz Challenge winners were named. Congratulations go to Amelia von Korff from SUNY Cobleskill and Kacie Geary from West Virginia University.
“Thank you to our sponsors, in particular WeatherBeeta, Samshield and Leather With Love, for providing prizes for our IHSA online competitors,” said Peter Cashman, IHSA executive director. “We thank all the coaches and riders and everyone who participated. Congratulations to our team champions, class winners, high-score riders, and series champions. We are so grateful to DigitalHorseShow.com for providing an outstanding online platform for IHSA members to stay active during COVID-19 restrictions on travel and in-person competition.”
Horse Sports for the New Normal. Founded in 2020 by a group of industry leaders with experience in video, show management, entry systems, sales and marketing, DHS offers a place for equestrians to maintain their competitive edge and receive thoughtful feedback for themselves and their horses. Providing participants with the most affordable way to compete in front of USEF-Licensed Officials, DHS is the official sanctioned online horse show competition of the USHJA and also welcomes a variety of opportunities for other facets of the equestrian community.
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ABOUT THE IHSA
The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) welcomes men and women of all riding levels. It 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.