Hardeeville, S.C. – Sept. 1, 2017 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) three-year national champions Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) hosted an international jumping event at the Ronald C. Waranch Equestrian Center Aug. 17-19. The Pan-American Confederation (PAEC), includes Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Groups IV, V and VI and is comprised of a span from Canada to Argentina. Group IV includes the English-speaking Caribbean island nations, Canada and the U.S.
For several years, an event was held in Wellington, Florida, during the Winter Equestrian Festival for Group IV junior members to compete in an FEI jumper format on borrowed horses. It became increasingly challenging to supply horses and find time on the busy calendar to produce the show. The competition had not been held in recent years, and the PAEC board wanted to create a new event.
The secretary-general of PAEC, Eric Straus, is a SCAD adjunct professor who often officiates at equestrian competitions at SCAD. He approached Eddie Federwisch, director of equestrian studies at SCAD, about hosting the event.
“Eddie and I are good friends,” Straus said. “I thought this could be a win/win situation for both SCAD and the island nations. SCAD has a very international student body. This event would provide the opportunity for students to consider SCAD as a college option, introduce the equestrian program and to do it in a relaxed way. It all worked out beautifully.”
“We talked about doing this for a few years and the best time for us to do something like this is in the summer,” Federwisch said. “Savannah can be a little warm, but the people from the island nations are used to warm.”
The competition format had to be adjusted to prevent stressing donated horses more accustomed to the IHSA hunter seat equitation format. A compromise was reached with an optimum-time format, similar to a US Equestrian Table IV, Sec. 2 Jumper class.
“The collegiate program is geared to equitation, so we came up with the optimum-time format as sort of the hybrid answer,” Straus said.
The competitors arrived Wednesday. The two-member nation teams included Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and a U.S. team, selected by DiAnn Langer, U.S. show jumping young rider chef d’equipe. A third U.S. rider was paired with a single rider from Antigua to form a mixed team.
Ashley Henry, coach of the three-time IHSA National Champion SCAD Equestrian Team, and assistant coach Abbey Gibson held a clinic Thursday to assess the riders and introduce them to the horses. Henry, who hails from the Bahamas and has dual citizenship, has a firsthand understanding of FEI competition in the Caribbean. Until she was 12, she was an FEI competitor. Henry went to boarding school and college in the U.S. and competed in the IHSA. She was delighted to introduce the jumper riders to the collegiate format.
“It was an incredible experience to share this with these students because I experienced it myself,” Henry said. “We showed them the equitation style. Many of them have great foundations already. We demonstrated how they can continue to develop without going fast or jumping high and through catch riding. Understanding the IHSA, both Hunter Seat and Western, is really important for students from other countries who want to come to college in the U.S. and participate in an IHSA equestrian program.”
SCAD student riders on hand for the summer session helped with the event and interacted with the young international competitors. According to Henry, they enjoyed hearing all the Caribbean accents. Many of the teams were accompanied by coaches and parents.
The two-day competition optimum-time format required the riders to have and maintain a steady pace and jump clean. “It was a great experience for everyone,” Straus said.
Points were awarded for placing; 14th place was awarded 1 point, 13th 2 points, all the way to second place – 13 points. First place received 15 points. In the end, the Bermuda team emerged as the champions after an exciting tie-breaker with the Cayman Islands. Trinidad and Tobago were third.
Federwisch, who judged the competition, also gave all the students an equitation score for reference, which did not count toward their placings. “Overall the riding was good,” he said. “Riding with efficiency and riding the course more stylishly – the optimum-time format took care of that. It was an international take on the IHSA format.”
FRIDAY – Aug. 18, 2017 - PAEC Junior Caribbean Challenge - First Round Results:
1 - # 95 - Ashley Van Den Bol - Cayman Islands - 15 pts.
2 - # 91 - Jordann Brown - Trinidad and Tobago - 13
3 - # 93 - Casey Truran - Bermuda - 12
4 - # 92 - Hadley Rahael - Trinidad and Tobago - 11
5 - # 89 - Indy Jones - Barbados - 10
6 - # 88 - Zoe Archer - Barbados - 9
7 - # 94 - Chloe Fowler - Cayman Islands - 8
8 - # 87 - Janet Jack - Antigua/USA Mixed Team - 7
9 - # 97 - Addison Reed - USA - 6
10 - # 90 - Kelsey Amos - Bermuda - 5
11 - # 99 - Caitlin Kerr - Jamaica - 4
12 - # 86 - Sophie Mawell - Antigua/USA Mixed Team - 3
13 - # 96 - Cecily Hayes - USA - 2
14 - # 98 - Marlee McKeehan - Jamaica - No Score
Round 1 Team Results:
1 - Trinidad and Tobago - 24 pts.
2 - Cayman Islands - 23 pts.
3 - Barbados - 19 pts.
4 - Bermuda - 17 pts.
5 - Antigua/USA Mixed Team - 10 pts.
6 - USA - 8 pts.
7 - Jamaica - 4 pts.
SATURDAY – Aug. 19, 2017 - PAEC Junior Caribbean Challenge – Final Round Results:
1 - # 93 – Casey Truran - Bermuda – 15 pts.
2 - # 97 – Addison Reed – USA – 13
3 - # 87 – Janet Jack – Antigua/USA Mixed Team – 12
4 - # 94 – Chloe Fowler – Cayman Islands – 11
5 - # 89 – Indy Jones – Barbados – 10
6 - # 92 – HadleyRahael – Trinidad and Tobago – 9
7 - # 90 - Kelsey Amos – Bermuda – 8
8 - # 98 – Marlee McKeehan – Jamaica – 7
9 - # 95 – Ashley Van Den Bol – Cayman Islands – 6
10 - # 96 – Cecily Hayes – USA – 5
11 - # 88 – Zoe Archer – Barbados – 4
12 - # 86 – Sophie Maxwell – USA/Antigua – 3
13 - # 91 –Jordann Brown – Trinidad and Tobago – 2
14 - # 99 –Cailtin Kerr – Jamaica – No Score
Final Round 1 Team Results:
1 – Bermuda – 23 pts.
2 – USA – 18 pts.
3 – Cayman Islands – 17 pts.
4 – Antigua/USA - 15 pts.
5 – Barbados – 14 pts.
6 – Trinidad and Tobago – 11 pts.
7 – Jamaica – 7 pts.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS – AFTER 2 ROUNDS:
CHAMPION – Bermuda – 40 pts. (0 total jumping faults) *won tie breaker
RESERVE CHAMPION – Cayman Islands – 40 pts. (4 total jumping faults)
3 – Trinidad and Tobago – 35 pts.
4 – Barbados – 33 pts.
5 – USA – 26 pts.
6 – Antigua/USA – 25 pts.
7 – Jamaica – 11 pts.
All photos courtesy of PAEC.
The IHSA was founded in 1967 by Robert Cacchione while he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. The organization was established so that any full-time college student could participate in equestrian competition regardless of economic status, gender or riding level. The IHSA emphasizes learning and sportsmanship and fosters teamwork. Now celebrating its 50-year anniversary, the organization has grown to include 400 member teams and 10,000 riders in Hunter Seat Equitation, Western Horsemanship and Reining. The IHSA encompasses 40 Regions, 8 Zones and 45 states and Canada. College or university teams, individuals, alumni and coaches may become members.
For more information go to: IHSAinc.com