The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) board of directors convened virtually January 6-8, 2021, for their bi-annual meeting. The board decided to cancel the 2021 IHSA postseason, specifically Hunter Seat Zone Finals, Western Semi-Finals and the National Championship Horse Show, due to COVID-19.
"With the ongoing pandemic and numbers on the rise, the board voted with the safety and well-being of the membership in mind," said Peter Cashman, IHSA executive director. "We understand how disappointing it is to membership, many who have been unable to compete this academic year."
Cashman noted the board has been listening to the leadership of its 400-plus member colleges and universities who continue to be challenged with making tough decisions regarding students' return to campus, participation in sports and travel restrictions.
"It's a large organization with 10,000 members," Cashman said. "The board has agonized over this situation that has forced us to decide to cancel the IHSA postseason for the second consecutive year. We look forward with the hopes that the vaccine will prevent the spread and allow the country to relax restrictions and allow the schools to resume competition in the fall."
The board announced that the IHSA would offer two online horse shows through DigitalHorseShow.com during the spring semester. The Inaugural IHSA Online Horse Show was successfully held during the 2020 fall semester, providing an opportunity for those members and teams who continue to ride and practice to compete across the membership. The spring events will again be open to all IHSA undergraduate and alumni members and will include a horsemanship element. Show dates and prize lists will be available soon.
The board of directors also announced that they will present a live webinar on the state of the IHSA, Tuesday, January 19. Details of the webinar will be announced soon.
About the IHSA
The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) welcomes men and women of all riding levels and 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.