IHSA 2022 National Championship Horse Show

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By Carrie Wirth

Harrisburg, Pa. – May 11, 2022 – The 2022 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) kicked off the National Championship Horse Show, held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, with great rides and big scores, May 5-8, 2022.

The first class of the day was Individual Open Equitation Over Fences. The 17-rider division rode over a flowing course of eight jumps with options at fences two and three. As the first rider on course, Arielle LoGiudice (Morganville, New Jersey) from Centenary University set the pace and score to beat of an 85. The rest of the field took notice.

Julianna Empie, a junior on the Penn State Equestrian Team, took home the national championship with a first-round score of 85.5 aboard Big Shot, a 17.1-hand chestnut gelding provided by Centenary University.

Earning the reserve champion title with an impressive first-round high score of 88, was Carly Alder (Germantown, Tennessee), a senior at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Alder and her mount Houdini, a 16.1-hand bay gelding from Centenary University had the luxury to go later in the class. “I got to kind of see what the judges were looking for,” Alder said. “They didn't seem to be rewarding for the inside turns and the description for my horse was nice and huntery. So I just went and kept it tidy, tried to keep a nice hunter flow and have a nice round.”

USEF/Cacchione Cup Competition

Ranch Riding Debuts at IHSA National Championship Horse Show
Day two of the 2022 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship Horse Show included competitive rounds in the USEF/Cacchione Cup and the debut of Ranch Riding.

The USEF/Cacchione Cup Over Fences class kicked off day two of competition. Twenty-four horse-and-rider combinations navigated the course designed by William Yeager. The course of 10 fences, starting with a bending seven-stride line, provided riders with options at fence one and fence five. Flowing approaches and turns gave riders the opportunity to showcase their mount and riding abilities.

Conservative rides dominated the division and were rewarded with high scores. Pace and track were key to a smooth and successful round. The USEF/Cacchione Cup Work-Off round was scheduled for Saturday morning. The top-six riders will return for further testing.

Ollie and Debbie Griffith Presented IHSA’s Pioneer Award at IHSA National Championship Horse Show
The Parade of Teams is a tradition at every IHSA National Championship Horse Show. This year’s parade included a special presentation to honor two people who have dedicated their lives to the IHSA. The Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to IHSA by bringing new vision, action and results to the association. Ollie and Debbie Griffith of the Ohio State University fit those criteria, and on the occasion of their retirement from coaching, the IHSA leadership honored them with this very special award.

Judging the USEF/Cacchione Cup | A Conversation with the 2022 IHSA Nationals Judges Todd Karn and Tom Brennan
 “We thought this was a really good group of riders and horses. The top rider was seven points ahead going in,” said judge Todd Karn. “We felt that she deserved to stay there. She has a lot of style, and everybody rode really well. The horses were great and the tests sort of unfolded the way we thought it would. It was good.”

 “I agree,” said Tom Brennan. “We purposefully didn’t let them walk the course ahead of time. I thought they all chose different options that suited them and their horse. One girl even made a circle to start, which I thought was really smart. She went through the bushes to make sure there was no issue there. The people that cantered directly to the first jump also did it beautifully. I thought they all made use of the freedom we gave them to show off what they thought they could or couldn't do. The girl who won (Juliana Empie) appeared to be on the greenest horse. She did a great job with him.”

Emory and Henry College Successfully Defends their Collegiate Cup Championship
Emory and Henry College earned the Collegiate Cup, defending their title from the 2019 IHSA National Championship Horse Show, before COVID-19 forced the cancellation of two postseasons. The Emory and Henry Equestrian Team, led by coach Heather Richardson, topped all the IHSA hunter seat teams, earning 42 points and the Collegiate Cup championship. The Miami University Equestrian Team, coached by Heather Pinnick, earned 39 points for the reserve championship.


COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY                         TOTAL POINTS                 COACH
  1. EMORY AND HENRY                                    42                            HEATHER                                                                                                                               RICHARDSON           
  2. MIAMI UNIVERSITY                                     39                    HEATHER PINNICK
  3. SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE                             35                    LIZZIE FISCH
  4. LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY                       33                    BROOKE CHASIN
  5. COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON                       29                    NATASHA MCCARTHY   
  6. ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY                      26                    MARY DRUEDING
  7. UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT                        23.5                 MADELEINE AUSTIN
  9. CENTENARY UNIVERSITY                          22                   MICHAEL DOWLING
                                                                                                       & HEATHER CLARK
  10.   PENN STATE UNIVERSITY                        21.5                 KRISTIN GROTEK
Kelly Francfort Presented Lifetime Achievement Award
IHSA Vice President Kelly Francfort was awarded the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award during the IHSA board meeting in January 2020. However, because there has been no postseason since 2019, Francfort had yet to be officially presented with the honor.

“It was wonderful to be recognized,” Francfort said. “I was grateful that they were able to put it together and allowed me to have a moment in the ring. It meant a lot. It's an acknowledgment for the work that I very thankfully put in, but it means that your contemporaries and some amazing professionals acknowledge that commitment. That means a lot. I'm not a big-time professional. I don't have a competitive resume. My resume is the time I’ve given to the organization. So, it’s humbling to be in that group.” 

Third Day USEF/Cacchione Cup And Collegiate Cup Awards

Competition Continues for Reining, Ranch Riding Awards Presented
USEF/Cacchione Cup competition culminated with the Penn State University junior Julianna Empie (Chester Springs, Pennsylvania) taking home the coveted championship title. Empie is the first Penn State Equestrian team member to be crowned the USEF/Cacchione Cup Champion in 44 years, since Luanne Richards rode to the championship in 1978.  
Empie rode spectacularly all week. She was a one-half point behind the top score of 88 by Lilly French (Cleveland, Ohio) from Miami University of Ohio. Empie impressed the judges in the flat phase aboard Maverick (Savannah College of Art and Design) and scored a 93 to move her into the top slot going into today’s work-off round.

NRHA/AQHA Individual Ranch Riding Results:
1: Stephanie Miller, West Texas A&M Univ.
2: Chloe Sullivan, Bloomsburg Univ.
3: Amber Hiscock, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
IHSA/AQHA Individual Open Horsemanship
1: Kamryn Woodard, West Texas A&M Univ.
2: Sara Beth Felker, St. Andrews Univ.
3: Jordan Martin, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
IHSA/AQHA Individual Level II Horsemanship
1: Sara Eveleigh, Cazenovia College
2:  Kaylee Tingle, Midway University
3: Caroline Barthel, Grand Valley State University
4: Paige Pierson, University of Delaware Valley
5: Jordan Dillenbeck, Middle Tennessee State University
IHSA/AQHA Individual Rookie Horsemanship
1: Macy French, West Texas A & M
2: Shannon Kennedy, Middle Tennessee State University
3: Elli Schroll, University of Findlay
4: Louann Branunwalde, Middle Tennessee State University
IHSA/AQHA Individual Level I
1: Grace Wolfington, West Texas A & M
2: Megan Pokorny, University of Nebraska Lincoln
3: Brooke Pitts, Wilmington College
4: Emma Ferguson, West Texas A & M
5: Laura Hawkins, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Freshman Rides To NRHA/AQHA Individual Open Reining Title
Spectator cheers filled the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center during the NRHA/AQHA Individual Open Reining class. Twelve riders galloped, spun, and slid to the delight of the crowd. The top-three riders finished in a two-and-a-half-point spread. 

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) freshman Jordan Martin (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) wowed the judges aboard Dustin, a rider-favorite draw from Black Hawk College, and took home the NRHA Lawson Bronze Trophy. Martin and Dustin received a score of 146.5.

AQHA High-Point Rider Award Presented on Final Day of IHSA National Championship Horse Show
The Western teams shined on the final day of competition at the 2022 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship Horse Show. The IHSA/American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) High-Point Rider Award and the NRHA/NSBA National Championship Team were announced to a cheering crowd. 

The IHSA/AQHA High-Point Rider class began Saturday with the horsemanship phase of 19 riders split into two sections. Each rider executed a walk, jog and lope along the rail for the judges. One at a time, they performed the horsemanship pattern which included backing, gait extensions at the jog and lope, and a simple change of lead before returning to the lineup. 

2022 AQHA High-Point Rider Results
1: Nigel Lancaster, Ohio State University
2: Ashton Knerr, Findlay University
3: Rudy Pohlabeln, Morehead State College
4: Sara Beth Felker, St. Andrews University
5: Jordan Martin, Middle Tennessee State University
6: Josie Spratt, Black Hawk College
7: Allie Rhoades, West Virginia University
8: Sarah Eberspacher, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
9: Lori Girrbach, University of South Carolina
10: Irene Powlick, Trinity University
Black Hawk College Rides to IHSA/NSBA Team National Championship
The Black Hawk College (Galva, Illinois) team won their Semi-Finals hosted at their facility and came into Nationals looking good. They battled it out with 10-time national championships Ohio State University, but in the end, The Black Hawk team edged out the Ohio State powerhouse team by two points to earn the first-ever IHSA team championship by a community college.

 “What I learned from Bob Cacchione is this is the first time that a two-year school has won the Western Team Championship,” said Becca Irish, coach of the NRHA/NSBA Team National Champions.

IHSA/NSBA Western Team Results
  1. Black Hawk College / 48 / Becca Irish
  2. Ohio State University / 46 / Ollie & Debbie Griffith
  3. West Texas A&M University / 42 / Amanda Ellis
  4. St. Andrews University / 38 / Carla Wennberg
  5. University of Nebraska-Lincoln / 34 / Lori Jaixen
  6. Midway College / 33 - tied / Conner Smith
   6.   University of Wisconsin- River Falls / 33- tied / Janie Huot
       7.   Albion College / 26 / Adam V. D’Agostino
       8.   Saint Mary of the Woods / 22 / Tabatha Taylor

Read more about the IHSA Championships at: IHSAinc.com

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