2016 5th Anniversary Alumni Tournament of Champions


The Fifth Anniversary of the Alumni Tournament of Champions didn’t let the threats from Mother Nature get in the way of etching new names in the history books. This year the tournament took place on June 5, 2016 at Jentri Stables in Furlong, PA, home base for the Jentri IEA Team, as well as, Temple University IHSA team. This was the second time the hunt seat and western tournament was run simultaneously. A starting population of 100 riders from 20 different states and all 8 IHSA Zones competed in 14 classes, that’s a 488 % increase from the first year.

In 2015, three new hunt seat classes were offered, two open to Reunion Riders (open to any IHSA alumni regardless of the last time they showed IHSA in college) as well as our Future Alumni Cup, sponsored by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Alumni Association, (open to 2016 graduating seniors), again this year these classes proved to be a hit and will be returning at the 6th annual tournament with the location still to be announced.

Before any competition could commence on Sunday, Saturday had a friendly kick off with two events this year. First was the happy hour/team mingling event held at Wycombe Vineyards, just down the road from Jentri Stables. Later that evening riders were invited to the second annual High Point Rider exhibitor cocktail party, sponsored by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Alumni Association, held at The Plumsteadville Inn, where the second annual High Score Awards were presented to the top 6 alumni with the Highest Scores throughout the IHSA regular season at their top 7 shows. Each award winner went home with their ribbon and a customized pad matching their ribbon from Jessie’s Specialty Pads. The top award went to Tara Matthews from University of Connecticut, besting out 2015 winner and 2016 Reserve Champion Caitlin Arthur (Saginaw Valley State).

The threat of intense storms scheduled for Sunday, made for some last minute changes to the schedule forcing both hunt seat and western classes to run in the indoor, fortunately mother nature had a change of heart, which allowed the western classes to occur in the outside ring while the hunt seat classes ran in the indoor. It wasn’t until the show had concluded and the last cup rider was pinned that mother nature dumped large amounts of rain on the farm.

In the Mane Jane Hunt Seat Alumni Cup the starting field of 24 riders was reduced to 8 for a final work off after combining both their over fences and flat section scores. For the final test, hunt seat judge, Louise Kass of Bedminster, PA (also our very first tournament judge) had the riders line up and perform a one minute demonstration on the flat of whatever they felt showed off their skills while matched up with their final draw of the day. Scores were very close in the end, but the 2016 Mane Jane Hunt Seat Alumni Cup winner ended up going to 2014 Temple University graduate Bianca Lupo of Cochranville, PA. When asked about her win, Lupo gave credit to the six awesome horses she was able to ride throughout the day, as well as, thanks to all the sponsors for sending her home with some fabulous prizes including ManeJane Spur staps and a KMarie Equestrian bag.

Watching the final test were two previous Alumni Cup winners 2014 Sara McCoy (University of Delaware) and 2015 Megan Mendenhall (Wilson College) who were happy to see a previous region member win the trophy. Both McCoy and Mendenhall agreed that Lousie Kass selected an enjoyable test, “it was a fun test to watch, especially not knowing what each of the top 8 riders would do.”

2016 winner of the Future Hunt Seat Alumni Cup, Samatha Frable (Penn State) edged out former teammate Alexa Echevarria (Penn State) after competing in a two phase class with the high score.
Ultimately 8 new Hunt Seat champions went home with huge smiles and amazing prizes from our generous sponsors. It was heard several times throughout the day, “what amazing sponsors” we have at the tournament. Thanks to the diligence of co-founder Lena Andrews Licata every ribbon winner went home with at least one prize in addition to the ribbon.

This year’s tournament was once again honored to have many sponsors making this day special for all. Nutrena generously sponsored all the ribbons for the fourth year assuring that our winners went home with beautiful ribbons. We had multiple class sponsors including Mane Jane (Hunt Seat Alumni Cup), Huntley Equestrian (2’6” Fences), IHSA Alumni Association (Hunt Seat & Western Future Alumni Cups). Many sponsors donated prizes for our 2016 class winners including, Mane Jane, KMarie Equestrian, Essex Classics, Success Equestrian, Back On Track, City Girl Equestrian, Dover Saddlery, AdultAmmyStrong, Perri’s Leather, Zoetis, Carousel Horse Tack, FarmVet, SmartPak and Do Trot In tack store.

The Alumni Tournament of Champions is an IHSA style horse show for IHSA alumni from around the country. Riders draw horses before competing and are not able to practice on the horse before walking into the show ring. The purpose of the show is to expand opportunities for IHSA Alumni to ride in a finals type atmosphere, as many only show a few times a year with busy careers and limited funds.
Full results, photos and sponsor listings can be found on the Alumni ToC website at www.alumnitoc.com. Keep an eye out for the 2017 Alumni Tournament of Champions, the date and location should be set by early fall. As always, there could be a few new surprises up our sleeves.

High Score WinnerMJ Cup Winner 3

Complete Results:

Hunt Seat:

Class: 1 – Alumni Flat Entries: 8
Champion Caitlin Doran Z3R4 Rutgers
Reserve Francisca Martinez Z2R4 Nassau Valley CC
3rd Cassandra Simons Z3R5 Univ of Delaware
4th Michelle Mohr Z7R1 North Central Texas
5th Tracey Lightner Z3R4 Delaware Valley College
6th Kristin Van Derlaske Z4R1 Longwood University

Class: 2 – Advanced Flat Entries: 24
Champion Tara Mathews Z1R3 Univ of Connecticut
Reserve Ashton Phillips Z3R4 Virginia Intermont
3rd Sarah Lent Z1R3 Morrisville State
4th Amy Benenson Z2R4 SUNY Albany
5th Bianca Lupo Z3R5 Temple University
6th Lizzie Stickney Z7R1 Butler University

Class: 3 – 2’3 Fences Entries: 10
Champion Kristin Van Derlaske Z4R1 Longwood University
Reserve Francisca Martinez Z2R4 Nassau Valley CC
3rd Michelle McQueen Reunion Drew Univ
4th Colleen Dreyer Z2R4 Long Island Post
5th Tyler Krahling Reunion Salisbury
6th Kristen McGowan Reunion Long Island Post

Class: 4 – Huntley Equestrian 2’6 Fences Entries: 26
Champion Irene Peluso Z1R5 Fairfield Univ
Reserve Tara Mathews Z1R3 Univ of Connecticut
3rd Kelly Jones Z3R4 Moravian College
4th Sandy Rose Z3R4 College of St. Elizabeth
5th Bianca Lupo Z3R5 Temple University
6th Tim Malone Z3R4 Dartmouth

Class: 5 – ManeJane HS Alumni Cup Entries: 22
Champion Bianca Lupo Z3R5 Temple University
Reserve Kristie Swift Z3R5 Washington College
3rd Lizzie Stickney Z7R1 Butler University
4th Debbie Kaufman Z1R5 Univ of Connecticut
5th Emilie Langlois Z3R1 Penn State
6th Tara Mathews Z1R3 Univ of Connecticut
7th Amy Benenson Z2R4 SUNY Albany
8th Katy Hannon Z2R1 Rochester Institute

Class: 6 – IHSAA Future Alumni Cup – HS Entries: 7
Champion Samantha Frable Z3R1 Penn State
Reserve Alexa Echevarria Z3R1 Penn State
3rd Hayley Menkins Z2R5 Indiana Univ of Penn
3rd Lauren Larkin Z3R4 DeSales Univ
4th Kathleen Rainis Z2R4 Molloy College
5th Sarah Pavlini Z3R4 Lafayette College
6th Vanessa Lempicky Z3R2 West Chester

Class: 7 – Reunion Fences Entries: 20
Champion Kelly Gerland Lynchburg College
Reserve Alyse Howse Virginia Commonwealth
3rd Emily Mallory Lafayette College
4th Caroline Detzi Morrisville State
5th Sarah Smith Villanova
6th Mindy Velasco-McCaulley Kutztown Univ

Class: 8 – Reunion Flat Entries: 26
Champion Rachel Lallier High Point Univ
Reserve Mindy Velasco-McCaulley Kutztown Univ
3rd Sara Pollack Fairfield Univ
4th Amy Daspit Virginia Intermont
5th Sarah Smith Villanova
6th Sarah Sherman Virginia Intermont