An Impressive Field of Competitors Produces Three-Way Tie for High Point Rider
The 2016 College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) wrapped up its exciting weekend of competition with an unprecedented three-way tie for High Point Rider. Now in its 6th year, the CPI has matured into a marquee event that attracts college bound riders from grades 9-12 who apply for the opportunity to participate. This year, 140 young riders traveled from as far away as Texas to meet with college equestrian coaches and compete in a collegiate format horse show during the three-day event. And while Florida experienced some dramatic weather during the weekend, the CPI management and Jim Brandon Equestrian Center staff managed the situation with aplomb; so despite Tornado warnings and ‘shelter in place’ directives, the atmosphere among CPI participants and spectators remained jovial.
The venerable Michael Page retuned to judge the CPI Florida and under his steady gaze riders and their horses performed a series of tests commonly found in college-level competition, including lengthening and collection. Course designer and United States Military Academy at West Point equestrian team coach, Sherry Cashman, designed jumping tracks that asked the riders to consider bending lines and encouraged them think about pace. The three-way tie for high point rider was broken when Mr. Page took the riders aside and administered a Q&A to determine the ultimate winner, Ashley Gregory ’18 from Davie, FL.
Two additional student riders tied for High Point Rider:
Hayley Antonelli Bethesda, MD Class of 2018
Amalya Silverblatt Brooklyn, NY Class of 2019
The CPI Scholarship and Educational Fund awarded scholarships to the following students:
- CPI Essay Award: Mollie Green, Broadview Heights, OH – Class of 2017
- CPI Written Horsemanship Test Award: Caydee Dickennsheets, Austin, TX – Class of 2016
- CPI Champion of Service Award: Ellie Tradup, Highland, Village, TX – Class of 2017
The USHJA awarded five $1,000 travel grants to student riders who wished to attend the 2016 East Coast College Preparatory Invitational. Grant recipients were required to meet one of two academic requirements—either hold a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale or be in the top 20 percent of their class—and each had be accepted to the CPI. CPI 2016 Florida grant recipients included Chloe Bellerive, 17, of Keddysville, MD; Alexa Donsbach, 16, of Schererville, IN; Elizabeth Gilbert, Austin, TX; Tanner Pfeffer, 16, of Pataskala, OH; and Chace Simmons, 17, of Fredericksburg, VA.
As part of the CPI College Fair the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center housed colorful displays from more than 40 colleges from around the country who sent admissions representatives and equestrian team coaches to meet with students and watch the competition. Throughout the weekend colleges and universities offered opportunities to learn more about their equestrian programs and met one on one to discuss their individual options.
An impressive roster of educational speakers rounded out the weekend with informative discussions about navigating the college selection and admissions processes, and what to look for and expect in a college equestrian experience. Intercollegiate Horse Show Association founder Bob Cacchione addressed the students, giving a detailed history of the evolution of the IHSA. A great supporter of the CPI, Mr. Cacchione stayed at the CPI all weekend, meeting and speaking individually to students, parents and trainers about the IHSA.
“Year over year the CPI continues to evolve in a way that provides more value add for the attendees,” said Lindsay Martin, CPI president. “Our goal is that the student riders and their families leave here feeling like they want to come back next year – and I believe we’ve accomplished that this year.”
The second CPI horse show this year is scheduled for March 11 – 13, 2016, at the LA Equestrian Center’s ‘Equidome’ in Burbank, California. Student riders wishing to secure an opportunity to compete at the CPI in California are encouraged to file their online applications as soon as possible.
About the College Preparatory Invitational
The CPI is a three-day event designed to educate student riders about the different formats of college equestrian competitions and provide riders with resources to help them create their desired college equestrian experience. Riders in grades 9 through 12 have a chance to win scholarships in hunt seat equitation competition and participate in educational presentations throughout the event. In an effort to encourage academic excellence and embed social integrity as a lifelong commitment to the equestrian sport, the CPI Scholarship and Educational Fund also awards riders the opportunity to win scholarships for academics and community service. To learn more about the CPI, please visit http://www.collegeprepinvitational.com.