Collegiate Riders to Descend Upon the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2023 IHSA National Championship

The 2023 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship will be held May 4-7 at Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington. IHSA Nationals will feature hundreds of riders from across the U.S. and Canada competing in all levels of hunter seat equitation on the flat and over fences and Western divisions, including horsemanship, ranch riding and reining.

The IHSA athletes competed at hundreds of regular-season events, 39 Regional events, eight Zone Finals and three NRHA Western Semi-Finals to qualify for IHSA Nationals. Riders will vie for team and individual championships, including the coveted Hunter Seat High-Point Rider, Presenting the Cacchione Cup, and the Back on Track Western High Point-Rider honors.


The hunter seat judges include Linda Andrisani, Wellington, Florida, and Tony Sgarlata, Raleigh, North Carolina. Andrisani is a 30-plus-year veteran of the judge’s stand in the hunter ring and one of the country’s most well-known and well-respected hunter judges. She ran Monkton Manor, a full-time horse show operation, until 2006. She has been a judge at all the major horse shows in North America, including the National Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International and the Royal Winter Fair in Canada.

Sgarlata is a well-known and respected USEF R judge, rider, trainer, coach and clinician. He is known industry-wide as an effective trainer and a master at preparing horses and ponies for all levels. Sgarlata has judged the hunter and equitation rings throughout North America, including the International Hunter Futurity, World Champion Hunter Rider events and USHJA hunter derbies, at shows such as WEF, Tryon, Lake Placid, Old Salem and more.

The 2023 IHSA Nationals Western judges are Holly Hover from Cave Creek, Arizona and Debra Jones-Wright, from Abbeville, South Carolina. In 2015, AQHA named Hover the Most Valuable Professional and in 2017, she was named Professional Horsewoman of the Year. She has more than three decades of judging experience, including officiating at multiple AQHA World Shows and holds cards with AQHA, APHA, NSBA, and NRHA. Hover serves on several AQHA committees. She conducts clinics around the globe and served as the Western head coach for the Arizona State University Equestrian Team.

Jones-Wright has been judging for more than 30 years. As a professional, she has coached clients to Congress and the AQHA World championships in numerous disciplines. She has held cards with AQHA, NRHA, NSBA, NRCHA, VRH and USEF. In addition, Wright has coached youth and collegiate judging teams to national honors. She is an official AQHA Steward and an AQHA Professional Horseman. She serves as a judge (AQHA, NRHA, NSBA) and is a licensed steward for AQHA and NRHA.


For those unable to attend in person, IHSA’s Official Media Partner, Horse & Country TV, will capture all the action. Horse & Country is offering a 15% discount off an H&C+ Annual Membership using the code IHSA15  good from now until May 17.


The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) will sponsor a career fair during IHSA Nationals on Friday, May 5, from 1-4 p.m. on the mezzanine level of the Alltech Arena. Participating businesses include EQ Media, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI), Kentucky Equine Research, Southern States Cooperative and Spy Coast Farm. Attendees seeking positions are encouraged to attend. Bring your CV/resumés. Riding attire is acceptable for the career fair.

“IHSA Nationals in Kentucky is always a special experience,” said IHSA Executive Director Peter Cashman. “We are looking forward to a great event. Many thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and horse providers. This event simply couldn’t happen without you!”

The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) welcomes all genders at all riding levels. The collegiate riding organization offers individual and team competition in hunter seat equitation, Western horsemanship, ranch riding 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 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 or contact

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

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