Mar 16, 2011
Each year almost 9,000 students nationally participate in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association* (IHSA) competitions and each spring only about 30 of them make it to the IHSA Nationals for the Cacchione Cup competition.
This year one of Ohio University’s own, junior Sara Dziegielewski, will be among the 36 finalists.
“An opportunity like this greatly affects the Equestrian Team at Ohio University,” said Equestrian Team President Brittany Smith. “As much as an individual sport the equine sport is, here at Ohio University we all work together and support one another.”
This year the IHSA Nationals for the Cacchione Cup will be held May 5-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. To qualify for IHSA Nationals, one has to succeed in a long process of competitions.
“Regionals is the first show of two that can help qualify a rider for a chance to show at Nationals,” said Smith. “If any rider places first or second in their respective divisions, they qualify to show at Zones on April 10 at Otterbein College.”
To prepare for Nationals, Dziegielewski rides two to three times a week at Stonegate Farm in Coolville, Ohio, where the Equestrian Team’s barn is and where this year’s regional competition was held on March 13.
After the process of competitions, at the end of the regular season the rider with the highest number of points is named the Cacchione Rider for that region and is automatically eligible to compete in the national competition for the Cacchione Cup.
Competitions are broken down into eight zones and then zones are broken down into regions, of which there are usually four or five per zone. Ohio University competes in Zone 6 with Michigan, portions of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada.
“In Sara’s case, she shows in the “Open” division, which is the highest division you can show in the IHSA.”
Dziegielewski will be competing in the Hunt Seat for the IHSA National Competition Show on May 5.