2016 IHSA Collegiate Cup Champions Savannah College of Art and Design. Photo Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA Archives
|Lexington, KY—-May 9, 2016—-The Savannah College of Art and Design took their second consecutive hunt seat team win last weekend at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Championships, May 5-8, 2016, at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Unlike last year, when the team title came down to the last class, this year SCAD dominated almost from start, clinching the title well before their Ryan Genn topped the final Collegiate Open Flat class, making it a 16-point victory over second-placed Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts). The University of Findlay (Ohio) placed third, with Centenary College (New Jersey) in fourth.
“I tried to keep the students focused on staying humble and really working as hard as they could, because there are a lot of other schools that have come and dominated, from St. Lawrence to Skidmore to Centenary,” she said. “We know that it’s always a big playing field, and it’s the IHSA. Anyone can come home with a big blue ribbon, but really making sure that mentally the riders are focused, that they were working on all of the things that we had planned ahead of time and practiced all of the time was really important.”
After SCAD earned their first Collegiate Cup National Championship last year in a nail-biting finish over Centenary, Coach Ashley Henry focused on retaining that momentum, a challenge she had not faced before in her 11 years at the helm of the Georgia-based college.
In addition to Genn, the other winning SCAD team members included: Mikayla Colson (Walk-Trot) and Quinn Lowski (Novice Flat).
Chase Boggio Sweeps USEF/Cacchione Cup
In the USEF/Cacchione Cup individual championship, Tufts University’s Chase Boggio demonstrated how a lifelong love of horses, a supportive team and dedication to the sport all culminate in a making a dream come true. In his final appearance at the IHSA Nationals, the graduating senior topped the USEF/Cacchione Cup with a wire-to-wire victory in the three-phase competition.
“This is the way that I imagined the result, but I tried not to think about it too much,” said Boggio. “But this is exactly how I wanted it to turn out. I don’t get to ride in shows of this caliber much any more, so it feels really good to know that I’ve still got it.”
Boggio started out strongly at Nationals, winning the Individual Open Fences class on the first day and then finishing up the competition with the winning Cacchione Cup work-off ride over Victoria Bauer and Ryan Genn in front of judges Julie Winkel and Carole O’Brien.
“We only wanted to call back three for the Cacchione Cup work-off because they were far and away the best of the group,” said Winkel. “And, we wanted the work-off to be technical enough so it gave them some homework if they didn’t do it well. We gave them some options and places to show us some basic flatwork, which it did. As a judge, you’re always happy when the test works out where it’s very obvious to the audience that the winner is the winner, and we were happy with how that worked out.”
Winkel and O’Brien credited Boggio with his stellar hand-gallop and his proper execution of the simple changes he chose during the serpentine, as well as the turn on the haunches.
Bauer, who placed second in the USEF/Cacchione Cup for the College of Charleston (South Carolina), also won the EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Award for open hunt seat rider. Judges Winkel and O’Brien selected the winner based on the rider’s performance at Nationals, as well as a questionnaire identifying the rider’s goals in the sport. In addition to educational materials through EquestrianCoach.com, the winner receives an apprenticeship with a top trainer in the sport.
Morrisville State College’s Rex, a 16.1-hand bay gelding, and Cazenovia College’s Collins, a 17-hand bay gelding, tied for the Triple Crown High-Point Hunt Seat Horse Award. Skidmore College’s Amitelli, a 16.3-hand bay gelding affectionately called the “one-eyed wonder,” received the SmartPak Most Popular Hunt Seat Horse Award. Amitelli is a seasoned IHSA Nationals horse, but this was his first year with only one eye, after losing it in an injury. The University of Kentucky’s Red, a 16.1-hand chestnut gelding, won the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program Award.
Lori Cramer, IHSA riding coach (Miami University in Ohio) and member of the USHJA Board of Directors, received the 2016 IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Anna Knowles, of Dartmouth College, won the Theresa L. McDonald 2016 Scholarship Challenge, sponsored by EQUUS, becoming the two-time winner of this honor.
USHJA President (on leave of absence) and USEF Interim CEO Bill Moroney attended the show in support of the USHJA/IHSA partnership, which began in 2010.
“Led by Executive Director Bob Cacchione, the IHSA continues to provide a wide range of equestrian opportunities for riders, coaches, volunteers, alumni, parents and program supporters,” said Moroney. “The USHJA is excited to be a partner with IHSA in recognizing excellence in collegiate equestrian sport. The IHSA Nationals is just one example of how the partnership between IHSA and USHJA assists both organizations with fulfilling their missions.”
To learn more about the USHJA and IHSA partnership, visit www.ushja.org. To enjoy full coverage of the 2016 IHSA Nationals with articles, student rider blogs and photos, please check out the USHJA In Stride IHSA Digital Edition, which will be published and distributed via e-mail and posted on the USHJA website later this month. The comprehensive results from Nationals are available online atwww.ihsainc.com.