Col­lege Rid­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tions

Practical Horseman - - Editor's Note -

In­ter­col­le­giate Horse Shows As­so­ci­a­tion

IHSA of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties for rid­ers of all ex­pe­ri­ence lev­els in both team and in­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tion. IHSA fea­tures eight lev­els, on the flat and over fences with cour­ses start­ing at 2-foot-3 in the Novice di­vi­sion and go­ing up to 2-foot-9–3-foot for Open rid­ers.

Es­tab­lished in 1967, the IHSA counts nearly 400-plus mem­ber col­leges, whose teams range from the com­pet­i­tive to ca­sual in terms of time com­mit­ment and in­ten­sity. The IHSA’s mis­sion em­pha­sizes learn­ing, sports­man­ship, fun and keep­ing eques­trian in­volve­ment af­ford­able for stu­dents.

The IHSA has sev­eral schol­ar­ship pro­grams, and many of its mem­ber schools of­fer fi­nan­cial help to­ward col­lege ex­penses. These range from aca­demic schol­ar­ships to grants and tra­di­tional fi­nan­cial aid. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.ih­

Na­tional Col­le­giate Eques­trian As­so­ci­a­tion

NCEA com­pe­ti­tion is head to head. One rider from each school rides the same horse, drawn ran­domly in a Hunter Seat Eq­ui­tation class, either on the flat or over a course rang­ing in height from 3-foot to 3-foot-6. The win­ner earns the point for her school.

The NCEA eques­trian league was launched in 1998 and cur­rently has 22 schools par­tic­i­pat­ing with var­sity teams that are funded by each school’s ath­letic de­part­ment, just as a foot­ball or soc­cer team is. Most coaches have some ath­letic schol­ar­ship money to of­fer and a few give gen­er­ous pack­ages to top-cir­cuit rid­ers.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.col­le­gia­tee­ques­

Amer­i­can Na­tional Rid­ing Com­mis­sion

The ANRC is ed­u­ca­tion-driven and ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing the Amer­i­can Sys­tem of For­ward Rid­ing as taught by Cap­tain Vladimir Lit­tauer. The fo­cal point of its com­pet­i­tive en­deavor is the in­vi­ta­tional ANRC Na­tional In­ter­col­le­giate Eq­ui­tation Cham­pi­onship, typ­i­cally held in April. Schools field a team of their strong­est rid­ers to com­pete against oth- er ANRC squads. Un­like in IHSA and NCEA com­pe­ti­tion, ex­hibitors can ride either the school’s or a pri­vately owned horse in the cham­pi­onship. Rid­ers are judged over four phases that in­clude a USEF Hunter Eq­ui­tation test, a 3-foot Hunter Seat Eq­ui­tation Medal course, 3-foot Derby course and a writ­ten test cov­er­ing rid­ing the­ory and sta­ble man­age­ment. A Novice di­vi­sion of­fers sim­i­lar tests at a 2-foot-6 fence height. (ANRC also has pro­grams for mid­dle- and high-school age rid­ers.) Ap­prox­i­mately 90 schools have con­tested the Cham­pi­onship over its 40-year his­tory. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit

In­ter­col­le­giate Event­ing Pro­gram

A hand­ful of col­leges have had event­ing teams for many years, and the U.S. Event­ing As­so­ci­a­tion cre­ated a for­mal struc­ture for col­le­giate event­ing by launch­ing the IEP in 2014. An in­creas­ing number of In­ter­col­le­giate Team Chal­lenges are be­ing added to ex­ist­ing horse tri­als through­out the coun­try, es­pe­cially in the south­east. The In­ter­col­le­giate Event­ing Cham­pi­onships de­buted in 2016 and, in 2017, teams from 17 schools par­tic­i­pated. They were held dur­ing the Vir­ginia Horse Tri­als in Lexington, Vir­ginia, in May, and 2016 re­serve champs, the Clem­son Tigers, emerged the vic­tors.

IEP teams vary in the de­tails of how and by whom they are run, but al­most all mem­bers ride their own or a leased horse. The rig­ors and risks of event­ing make catch-rid­ing an un­suit­able op­tion. Event­ing is well-known for its team spirit, and many col­lege squads of­fer mem­ber­ship to non­rid­ers who want to chip in from the ground and share their horsey en­thu­si­asm with like-minded stu­dents.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.usev­ent­­ber­ship/in­ter­col­le­giate.

In­ter­col­le­giate Dres­sage As­so­ci­a­tion

The IDA was formed in 1995 and to­day counts ap­prox­i­mately 40 col­leges with teams par­tic­i­pat­ing in re­gional and na­tional dres­sage com­pe­ti­tion. For shows, IDA schools field a team of four rid­ers and com­pete in four lev­els, In­tro­duc­tory, Lower Train­ing, Up­per Train­ing and First Level, rid­ing horses pro­vided by the host school.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit­dres­

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