SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) held its National Championship at the New York State Fair Expo Center in Syracuse, May 2 to 5.

The first class was Individual Open Equitation Over Fences, sponsored by Cazenovia College Equestrian Team and Cazenovia College. Adam Edgar earned the national championship with a score of 86. Fortune was shining on Edgar, a sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design, when he drew Lucky, owned by Centenary University. The pair christened the Expo Center arena as the first round of the day.

Lucky was the mount of Centenary University’s Michael Andrade, who recently won the American National Riding Commission National Championship, Edgar finished second.

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“I was very excited because Mikey (Andrade) and I are always head to head,” said Edgar, 19, a sophomore from Leesburg, Va. “I've been able to watch him for two years now and he rides him beautifully. I tried to mirror that and just give it a soft ride. He (Lucky) was great, he couldn't have been any better.”

Edgar explained that being the most physically and mentally prepared they could be helped offset any first-to-go jitters. The team works out with a personal trainer and does yoga. “I didn't even think twice,” he said. “I just went in and picked up a canter and tried to do the best I could.”

Andrade, a senior from Poughquag, N.Y., stepped up to win the Open Hunter Seat Equitation championship on the flat. His Centenary University teammate, Madison Myro, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nev., earned the nod from the judges for the second-place prize. Edgar nabbed the third spot.

Andrade who majored in Equestrian Business Management qualified for the USEF/Cacchione Cup for the first time and hopes to perform well for his final season in the IHSA.

“There is no better way to teach yourself to ride than to ride lots of different horses and every single day,” said Andrade about the experience in the IHSA. “Catch-riding–it's so beneficial for being adaptable. You're not going to be great if you only ride one type. Of course, you have to be able to ride anything you can sit on to do well.”

Andrade has a job after graduation with top equitation trainer Andre Dignelli at the renowned Heritage Farm.

“We could not be happier to have two really hardworking riders in such a competitive class,” said co-coach of the Centenary University team, Michael Dowling. “First and second in amazing company! We are really grateful for the horses that were provided, which were outstanding. Both of our riders had outstanding draws that were fancy enough to win any competition.  It’s a great last note for Mikey as he graduates and Madison is a very up-and-coming first-year student.

Edgar would go on to win the Cacchione Cup with Andrade in third.

Mara Chemerinsky, a junior at Skidmore College, from Newport Beach, Calif. competed in the Collegiate Cup Open Equitation Over Fences. The judges selected the top five to test over a shortened course. Riding Lucky, owned by Centenary University, Chemerinsky set herself apart by making a neat inside turn.

“I (thought), ‘I have nothing to lose,’” Chemerinsky said. “He’s so handy.”

Chemerinsky edged Elizabeth Traband of Penn State and Kristen Blomstron of Stanford University to pick-up 10 valuable points.

The Skidmore College equestrian team moved up two places to tie for fourth in the final IHSA national show standings. Emory & Henry College finished first with 50 points. Savannah College of Art and Design was second with 43 and Stanford third with 36.5. Skidmore and Delaware Valley tied for fourth with 32, just in front of St. Lawrence University (30.5). There were 16 teams competing for the national title.

Skidmore’s head coach, Cindy Ford, will leave her position at the end of this season. “It's really bittersweet because she's such an integral part of our team and we all love working with her and love being with her,” Chemerinsky said.

Lucky, who produced many top rounds, was awarded the both the SmartPak Most Popular Hunter Seat Horse and the Triple Crown High Point Horse at the end of the show. The Jockey Club award for a Thoroughbred participating in IHSA Nationals went to Granite from Penn State University.

The College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) also presented their first-ever IHSA CPI Scholarship to an IHSA member who has attended a CPI event. Meghan Frederick, a junior from Centenary University, earned the award.

CPI offers college-bound equestrians the opportunity to explore the collegiate equestrian experience through CPI horse shows, CPI college spotlight events, equestrian-focused college fairs, educational presentations and the opportunity for direct conversations with college admissions representatives and equestrian team coaches.

Centenary will host a CPI event May 10 to 12. https://www.tapinto.net/articles/centenary-university-to-hold-college-preparatory-invitational-spotlight-for-prospective-equestrian-students-21

Learn more about the IHSA at http://www.ihsainc.com

See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net

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