Harrisburg – April 18, 2018 – The PNHS is pleased to welcome the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships to Harrisburg and the Farm Show Complex, May 3–6. The IHSA is comprised of over 400 colleges and universities and 10,000 members across the U.S. and Canada.
The IHSA was founded so college students could have the opportunity to participate in horse shows, regardless of their financial status, gender or riding level. The IHSA offers both hunter seat and Western competition for both men and women from Walk-Trot through Open, including jumping and reining. Photo by Kelly Rhineland
IHSA shows provide top-quality horses and equipment for riders to compete with horses sight-unseen. The IHSA’s catch-ride format evens the playing field and promotes good horsemanship. Riding as a team is a unique experience for the competitors. The most experienced riders support the newer riders, teaching life lessons of collaboration and teamwork.
At this year’s Nationals 450 riders from colleges across the country will compete. Riders qualify for the IHSA National Championship Horse Show (Nationals) through a point system. During the year, team and individual contestants accumulate points at IHSA shows to qualify for the Regional Finals in their respective divisions. The top two riders in each class of the Regional Finals move forward to the hunter seat Zone Finals and Western Semi-Finals. The top competitors and teams in each class qualify for Nationals.
Eight Zone Finals were held April 7- 8 and the top two teams and the top two individual riders from each division all qualified for Nationals. Many past championship teams will return and the full roster includes teams from Mt. Holyoke. Boston University, Skidmore, St. Lawrence, Alfred University, Centenary University, Penn State, St. Andrews, Virginia Tech, Savannah College of Art and Design, College of Charleston, Middle Tennessee, University of Findlay, Otterbein University, Ohio State, West Texas A & M, Purdue, Black Hawk College, University of Wisconsin – River Falls, Stanford University, Colorado State, Oregon State and University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
“Many of the junior riders competing at the PA National Horse Show graduate from the junior ranks and go on to participate in the IHSA while in college. It is always fun to follow the careers of these talented riders,” said Susie Webb, executive director of the PNHS.”
“We are so excited to return to Harrisburg for Nationals,” said Bob Cacchione, executive director and founder of the IHSA. “It is so special for our competitors to ride in the main arena at the Farm Show Complex because many of the country’s greatest riders have ridden and competed in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. It is awe-inspiring.”