DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire equine program’s Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) equestrian team and the UNH Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team are each headed to the national championships after winning regional championships in their respective fields. The IHSA won the Zone I (Northeast) Team Reserve Championship and will advance to the IHSA National Championships for the second time in the program’s history. The Dressage Team won the IDA Northeast Region A Championships and will compete in the IDA National Championships, which the team won in 2009.
“Everyone at the UNH equine program is extremely proud of both of the teams. Having both teams compete in in the national championships is a tremendous accomplishment, and a reflection of both the strength of the program and the quality of our students,” says Sarah Hamilton Rigg ‘98, director of the UNH equine program and coach of the dressage team.
The UNH IHSA clinched its national championships spot at the Zone I championship at Mt. Holyoke College Saturday, April 6, 2013. UNH IHSA was represented by the following six riders, who will also ride for the team at the nationals: Elise Daly ’16 (Brookline), Karlee Burmaster ’16 (Clinton, N.Y.), Lauren DeJoie ’15 (Medway, Mass.), Kate-lyn Gadoua ’15 (Lancaster, Mass.), Sarah Elizabeth Bassett ’13 (Monroe, Conn.), and Sara Barone ’14 (Upton, Mass.). Additionally, as the Zone I Champion at novice fences, Bassett will compete as an individual.
The IHSA National Horse Show will be held in Harrisburg, Penn., May 2-5, 2013.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment that makes UNH’s team one of the top 16 teams in the country,” says Wildcats coach Christina Keim ’98, ’09G, who has been with the team since 2006.
IHSA is a unique form of team equestrian competition in which each competitor draws a horse provided by the host school prior to their ride; no schooling or warm-up of that horse by the rider is allowed. IHSA tests each rider’s ability to quickly and accurately assess their mount and ride it to the best of their ability.
“The IHSA competition format really levels the playing field,” says Keim. “No rider has an advantage because they own a fancier horse or have nicer equipment, like they might in regular horse shows. Students love the challenge of having to think on their feet and rely on their previous practice to ride the horse well.”
The UNH dressage team won the IDA Regional Championships at the University of Rhode Island Sunday, April 14, 2013. At the national championships at Mt. Holyoke College April 26-28, 2013, UNH will be represented by Jocelyn Kraenzle ’14 (North Brattleboro, Vt.), Alyssa Milano ’13 (Reading, Mass.), Katie Clark ’14 (Mattapoisett, Mass.) and Emily DeVeau ’15 (Revere, Mass.). In addition, Kraenzle, Milano, Clark, DeVeau, and Cailee Palm ’14 (Newburyport, Mass.) all qualified to compete as individuals by winning Regional Champion or Reserve Champion honors in their respective divisions.
“The team made it their goal to win the regional championship and return to the national championships as a team, and they have worked exceptionally hard to achieve that,” says Rigg. “I am very proud of the efforts of all of the riders. Although only five students will represent UNH at the national championship, every rider contributed to the team’s success.”
Dressage, a test of harmony between horse and rider, is often likened to ballet on horseback. Under Intercollegiate Dressage rules, the host school provides mounts for all of the riders. Riders select a horse in a random draw, watch the horses go and then have 10 minutes to warm up their horse before entering the ring for their test. The challenge of the competition is to create a seamless partnership with an unfamiliar horse in a limited time span.
Although UNH has a degree in equine studies, its riding team is not a varsity sport, and its members come from a variety of degree programs and equestrian backgrounds. “Riding is usually such an individual sport,” says Keim. “Students who ride on this team really identify with being able to represent their school and to be supportive of each other.”
For more information on the UNH Equine Program, go to www.equine.unh.edu/ihsa.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Photographs available to download: http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2013/apr/rider.JPG
Caption: Members of the University of New Hampshire’s Intercollegiate Hunt Seat Association (IHSA) equestrian team won the Zone I Team Reserve Championship. Left to right: Coach Christina Keim, ’98,’09G, Sarah Elizabeth Bassett ‘13; Kate-lyn Gadoua ’15, Lauren DeJoie ’15, Karlee Burmaster ’16, Elise Daly ’16, Sara Barone ’14.
Credit: R. Burmaster
Caption: The UNH International Dressage Association (IDA) team won the IDA regional championships and will compete for the national title. Left to right: Coach Sarah Hamilton Rigg ’98, Katie Clark ’14, Erin Murray ’13, Jocelyn Kraenzl, ’14, Alyssa Milano ’13, Julia Grella ’15, Katarina Keller ’15, Hannah Shoer ’13, Emily DeVeau ’15, Kile Townsend ’13, Alex Petkavich ’16, Cailee Palm ’14, Abby Geick ’14, Haley Scofield ’14.
Credit: Annemarie Murray