|Cassie Jackson competes in the IHSA National Championship Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank in May.|
Cal Poly Pomona's Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Team raced to a strong finish at the end of last season. Not only did the team have 12 riders compete at the 2008 National Championship Horse Show in May, it also sent more than 50 volunteers to help host the event at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.
During Nationals, team members were responsible for about 40 horses, moving them into the center, cleaning their stalls and warming them up for competition. They also had to locate the 200 horses used during the four-day May competition, which drew more than 500 riders from 300 colleges across the country.
“We were working so hard that we forgot there was a horse show we were competing in,” said Jen Earles. “Showing seemed to come second to all the work we were doing behind the scenes.”
Cal Poly Pomona's team performed especially well in the Western division of the National Championship. AQHA High Point Rider Katie Stricklin won first place in the horsemanship phase of the Western competition and took 10th place in the reining phase. She also placed third overall, the highest ranking by a Cal Poly Pomona student. Cindy Barnes, who graduated in the spring, placed fourth in Advanced Western; Alice Gifford, a senior, placed eighth in Novice Western; and Krystina Snyder placed sixth in Intermediate Western.
In the Hunt Seat team events, senior Carolyn LaPrade finished fourth in Intermediate Flat, and the team placed 11th overall.
“The greatest thing about last year was going to semifinals in Cazenovia, N.Y., and nationals in Burbank,” said team president Krystina Snyder, an aerospace engineering major. “I have never made it to the national level before so it was a great experience to have with all my teammates.”
Last season, the team grew tremendously with 87 members and about 50 active riders. Although a few seniors left the team when they graduated, this year's team officers expect another exciting year with new and returning members. Once classes begin in September, the group will hold orientation and tryouts. All students are welcome, including beginning and experienced riders.
“Anybody who wants to can be on the team,” Earles said. “This is a great opportunity for students who always wanted to learn to ride but maybe couldn't afford to.”
New students and new officers will bring refreshing energy to the team, said hunt seat captain Katrina Fedorka. “I have high hopes for the team this year,” she said. “For the last three years, Cal Poly Pomona's equestrian team has been the strongest in our region. We hope to make this year the fourth!”
Snyder looks forward to competing on the national level again. “We have a bunch of hardworking team members, and I am sure that we will be gaining more this coming year,” she said.
For more information about the team, visit www.cpp.edu/~horseshowteam.