HOUGHTON, N.Y. — Houghton College, was named CHA Partner in Safety by the Certified Horsemanship Association at its International Conference.
CHA’s 50thAnniversary Celebration was held in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 28.
The CHA Partner in Safety Award recognizes an outstanding individual or organization that has helped not only the equine industry and CHA, but the community at-large by promoting safety and awareness. The Equestrian Studies Program at Houghton College, which is a liberal arts institution in the context of a relevant Christian community, is known for academic excellence, professionalism, and experiential learning as it empowers its students to enrich the world.
In 2016, this CHA Program Member was listed as one of the 20 Most Amazing College Equestrian Centers in the Country by Best Value Schools alongside major universities such as Michigan State, Penn State, Stanford, and the University of Kentucky. The program prepares students to ride, teach, and train using the principles of classic dressage in five disciplines —dressage, hunter/jumper, eventing, Western, and trail riding.
This rural setting provides an ideal training ground for students to learn and train under CHA Certified professors and FEI level clinicians. Each year, the college hosts 10-12 public events at the Equestrian Center, including classes, competitions, and clinics. During the summer months, the center conducts a regularly sold-out, multi-week equestrian camp and also hosts a number of U.S. Equestrian-recognized dressage competitions.
Houghton College’s Equestrian Studies program has been a part of CHA since 1996 and has hosted 44 CHA Standard English/Western, Equine Facility Manager, and CHA College/University Clinics, as well as numerous CHA regional conferences. The college recently broke ground on a 36,400-square foot indoor equestrian arena, which should be completed in time for the 2018-2019 academic year thanks to an anonymous gift of $2.4 million.
Houghton College’s Larissa Strappello Ries, Instructor of Equestrian Studies and the Equestrian Facility Manager, accepted the CHA award on behalf of Houghton College.
“It was a complete surprise and a huge honor to receive the Partner in Safety Award from CHA,” said Ries. “We were honored to receive it. It means a lot to be seen as an equine educational facility that promotes safety and one that partners with CHA by hosting many of their certification clinics. Our desire is to help those who come into our barn learn how to safely handle horses and how to develop a partnership with the horses they work with. Whether students are learning how to scoop manure or ride a half pass, our goal is to provide each student a safe educational environment that will push them to do their best and learn all that they can!”
Jo-Anne Young, the Equestrian Program Director and Assistant Professor of Physical Education, also attended the awards banquet on behalf of Houghton College. "Houghton College is honored and pleased to continue working with CHA in preparing the next generation of riders and instructors for excellence with safety," said Young. "Incorporating CHA over the last 31 years into Houghton College's courses in equestrian pedagogy and equine facility management has allowed the Houghton students to earn certifications that lend international validity to their education and teaches them to be well-prepared to meet and exceed industry standards. This lovely award confirms that we are on the right track!"
For a complete list of past award winners, visit http://cha-ahse.org/store/pages/50/Award_Winners.html.
For more information about the 2017 CHA International Conference, visit http://cha-ahse.org/store/pages/47/International_Conference.html.
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