America's longest standing partnership between college riding and reining continues in 2015 as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Western Semi Finals again welcome the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) as official sponsor.
The 2015 IHSA Western Semi Finals, sponsored by NRHA, will be hosted March 21-22 by Florida State University and held at The Grand Oaks in Lady Lake (judges Stephanie Lynn and Lynn Palm); hosted by Ohio State University and held at Eden Park Equestrian Center in Sunbury (judges Allen Mitchels, Kim Myers); and hosted by Redlands Community College at Redlands Royse Ranch in El Reno, Oklahoma, under judges Jeff Hill and Debbie Kail. IHSA Regions will send their Regional Champion Western team, plus top two individuals in each division, to one of the three National Semi Final sites. IHSA Alumni competitors will be distributed between Florida and Ohio Semi Finals.
IHSA Western Semi Finals sponsored by NRHA are a qualifying step to the 42nd annual IHSA National Championships April 30-May 3 at the Eastern States Expo, West Springfield, MA.
Qualifying for IHSA Western Semi Finals Sponsored by NRHA
Each Region sends its top two individuals from each class, including Alumni, and Regional Champion team, for approximately 16 riders per Individual class and eight riders per Team class at Semis. Regional High Point Riders go directly to Nationals and do not compete at Semis. Semi Finals are held over two days, with two qualifying judges both days. All riders in each class ride a pattern on their rail horse after the rail portion of their class is completed and judges may ask for additional testing, including changing horses, after patterns are run.
After IHSA Western Semi Finals sponsored by NRHA, the top four Individuals and top three Teams advance, for a maximum of 12 riders per Individual class and nine per Team class at IHSA Nationals (High Point Rider class excepted).
The IHSA National Horse Show, America's oldest and largest competition of its kind, will host more than 450 riders and 25 teams. In addition to four days of hunter seat, western and reining competition for USEF Cacchione Cup, Collegiate Cup, NRHA Open, and AQHA High Point titles, there is a tented Vendors Row, College Presidents Day, Kentucky Derby Day and Salute to Graduates. Johnson and Wales University (RI) coach, Dirk Fogg, joins Connecticut College/U.S. Coast Guard Academy coach, Richard Luckhardt, as organizers for the first collegiate equestrian national championships in Massachusetts since 2007. IHSA promotes competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional and national levels, based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her financial status or riding level. Learn more about its teams and scholarships at www.ihsainc.com.