What is the IHSA?

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The Adelphi Equestrian Team poses for a picture with IHSA founder, Bob Cacchione, at the Fall 2016 St. Joseph’s show.

The Adelphi University Equestrian Team is part of IHSA. IHSA stands for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and was founded 50 years ago by Bob Cacchione. This association is broken up into eight different zones and each zone has up to five regions. Each zone is broken up geographically, and these regional cutoffs determine which teams compete against which.

The Adelphi Equestrian Team is part of Zone 2 and Region 4 group of IHSA. In this zone, Adelphi competes against Hofstra, Molloy, New York University, Princeton, St. Joseph’s, Stony Brook, Columbia, Long Island University and alumnus from schools all over the country. For every competition, each rider must ride on a randomly selected, unfamiliar horse, allowing for a completely even playing field.

“As a whole, I think that IHSA is a great opportunity for girls who are new to riding and would like a chance to experience it,” said Stefanie Chodkowski, member of the Adelphi Equestrian Team. “As a rider who is timid like myself, it helps build up my confidence since you don’t know what horse you will pull!”

Anne McLoughlin, her teammate, agreed with the sentiment.

“I love being part of the team,” said McLoughlin. “I love having the opportunity to ride for my college against other local colleges.”

IHSA also has several different division, otherwise known as classes, for people to compete in. There are 10 classes total, which include the Walk-Trot, Walk-Trot-Canter, Novice Over Fences, Novice Flat, Intermediate Over Fences, Intermediate Flat, Open Over Fences, Open Flat, Alumni Over Fences and Alumni Flat.

Riders are placed within these classes based on their riding level and talent. While there are classes for people that have just started out riding, they also offer divisions for people who have been competing for years. Adelphi’s Equestrian Team can, and has, competed in all of these.

Though there are many fans of this organization, some feel that the ISHA has somewhat tainted the purity of horse riding. One Adelphi rider, Emma Martin, stated though she enjoyed participating, there were some drawbacks.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for a lot of people, but as always, the politics of the horse world tend to get in the way and diminish the original purpose of it, which is to introduce horses to all that want to be a part of the culture,” said Martin. “But in general, I love being on a team with girls that are likeminded, and it’s a great extracurricular in the middle of crazy college life.”

The next IHSA horse show for Zone 2 and Region 4 will be on Sunday, March 19th, where the Adelphi Equestrian Team will be competing against Suffolk County Community College.

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