IHSA Members Emerge as Finalists in Top USHJA Programs

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FAIRFIELD, CT — NOV. 27, 2012 — In 2009, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association launched a partnership with the United States Hunter Jumper Association with the goal of benefiting all members and increasing awareness of the hunter/jumper sport.

“IHSA coaches and riders represent an important demographic,” said USHJA President, Bill Moroney, when the then-new partnership was saluted during the IHSA National Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Today, IHSA members are also among the national finalists for the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program. Megan Devine (University of Louisville) and Brendan Weiss (Penn State University) emerged from an original group of 200 riders participating in ten regional clinics across America to join the top 16 riders selected to attend the USHJA National Training Session November 15-18, hosted by Rush and Carl Weeden, at Field and Fences, in Gurnee, Illinois.

“The EAP Committee,” says USHJA CEO, Shelby French, “strives to identify dedicated and knowledgeable young riders who have demonstrated the enthusiasm, work ethic and aptitude necessary for success as equestrians.”

Riders accepted into EAP began their journey by participating in one of 10 Regional Clinics. During the extensive four-day clinics, riders worked with top clinicians and leading stable managers. Riders and horses participating in Regional Clinics were instructed on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, as well as intensive stable-management curriculum incorporating care and grooming, horsemanship, and barn management. They also completed a written test as part of their evaluation for the National Training Session.

A select group of 16 riders were then invited to continue on to the EAP National Training Session, based on riding and stable-management skills, written test results, and potential shown during the Regional Clinics.

In addition, IHSA member Eliana Rabinowitz (Franklin and Marshall College) has been named a finalist in the USHJA Horseman’s Quiz Challenge, which tests a rider’s knowledge of all-things-equine including riding theory, shipping, lunging, tack and health care. The mission of the USHJA HQC has been to educate and recognize young equestrians who have exceptional horsemanship knowledge, and ignite passion for advancing that knowledge and making it integral to their equestrian life.

HQC was created through the vision of Elaine Schott, Vice Chair of the USHJA Youth Committee: "My barn had a monthly dinner where we challenged our equine trivia on a planned topic, such as disease and wellness. It was a wonderful barn bonding and very educational. I thought of the Quiz Challenge Program by taking it a step further than my barn."

The benefits of USHJA membership to those belonging to the IHSA include access to other educational programs and recognition: Trainers Certification, USHJA Clinic programs, Zone Scholarships, HOTY and Stirrup Cup Awards, USHJA Outreach Awards, USHJA Affiliate Awards, and a College Lettering Program. Learn more by visiting www.ushja.org/programs/youth.

The IHSA mission is to promote competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional and national levels. IHSA is based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of financial status or riding level. More than 400 educational institutions in the U.S. and parts of Canada have teams belonging to IHSA, including student academic clubs, JV, and/or varsity programs. For more information about programs, scholarships, teams and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.ihsainc.com.