Bob Cacchione is retiring from the executive director position of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, an organization he founded. Cacchione announced his decision in a letter to the IHSA board of directors, effective Sept. 1. He will continue to promote and support the IHSA and will assume the role of founder emeritus. Peter Cashman, IHSA second vice president and co-coach of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s equestrian team, will assume the role of interim executive director until a formal board election will take place June 2020.
“It’s been a great ride,” Cacchione said. “It’s been my passion and my life’s work. Never did I dream that it would be what it is today. I want to thank all the dedicated coaches and past and current board members for working to build this great organization. It has been an honor. The IHSA is in capable hands and will continue to grow and thrive. I’ll still be around to advise and help in any way I can.”
As many as 250,000 men and women have participated in the IHSA since its founding in 1967. It started with just two colleges competing in hunter seat equitation, and in 1979, the western divisions premiered at the IHSA National Championship Horse Show. The organization now has over 400 participating colleges and universities and 10,000 members and is comprised of 39 regions in 8 zones in 47 states and Canada.
“From September to May, I traveled to a show every weekend,” Cacchione said. “I’ve loved it, but I look forward to less travel and more time with family.”
Cacchione has been recognized for his commitment to college riding with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award, the USHJA Presidents Distinguished Service Award, US Equestrian/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary College and the American Horse Publications Equine Industry Vision Award. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Gentlemen’s Committee of the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.