We’re also excited to see leaders of IHSA Zone 4 make creative use of the USHJA Affiliate Equitation Awards Program this year to recognize the accomplishments of their riders who aren’t eligible for the Cacchione Cup competition and who don’t qualify for the National Finals.
They’ll be offering the USHJA Affiliate Equitation Awards at their Zone Finals. They’ve created three categories that work under the IHSA competition format, reaching across their four regions to recognize the top riders in
the novice division (flat and fences), intermediate division (flat and fences) and mixed division (any flat and any fences).
Each regional chairman will submit the results of the top three riders in these categories from their region, using the points from each rider’s top five shows. The top 10 high-scoring riders in each section will receive an award from the USHJA, with each section’s champion receiving an embroidered garment bag.
It’s a great way to use our partnership to recognize the accomplishments of riders below the open level. The ability to participate on a collegiate riding team, even if a rider never competed on the USEF circuit in the 3'6" equitation, is one of the best aspects of the IHSA format.
Since each IHSA zone is a USHJA affiliate organization, we hope that the IHSA zones will also make use of the Affiliates Sportsmanship Awards Program. Each USHJA affiliate can create its own criteria for recognizing outstanding service and sportsmanship by amateurs, professionals, juniors and riding instructors. And then each September the affiliates submit the names and biographies of their award winners as nominees for the four regional winners of the four USHJA Affiliate Sportsmanship awards.
Shelby French will take over as the USHJA’s chief executive officer in May. She’s now the director of riding at Sweet Briar College (Va.) and was previously the director of riding at St. Andrews Presbyterian College (N.C.). She created the DVD series The American System of Forward Riding.