The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) was established in 1967 with the purpose that a student of any riding level or financial ability should be able to participate in horse shows. The IHSA divides the country into zones, which are then divided up into regions.
The horse shows are designed so that the host school provides all the horses for the horse show. Upon arrival, participants are assigned at random a horse from the host school for each class. The riders take the horse into the class with no warm up time - they must learn their horse while in the ring. The divisions include Walk-Trot, Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter, Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter, Novice, Intermediate, and Open. The Novice, Intermediate, and Open divisions are two class divisions with one under-saddle class and one over-fences class. Riders must accumulate a total of 35 points to point out of their class’ division and move on to the next level. Doing so would qualify them to compete in Regionals with the possibility of moving on to Zones and then Nationals. Open riders are the exception, having no division to point out into, they must accumulate a total of 28pts to proceed to Regionals and their points reset to 0 at the completion of each school year.
INDIVIDUAL - BEG/ADV/NOV/INTER
If you accumulate 35 pts by the end of the last spring horse show, you point out of your division, and qualify to compete in the Regional Horse Show as an individual. Depending upon the results of that show, you may continue onto Zone Horse Show, and then the Nationals.
* If you do not point out of your division by the end of the year, your points carry on into the next season.
INDIVIDUAL – OPEN/ALUMNI
If you accumulate 28 pts by the end of the last horse show in the spring, to compete in the Regional Horse Show as an individual. Depending upon the results of that show, you may continue onto Zone Horse Show, and then the Nationals.
* Your point total will start at 0 every fall season.
If the team places first by the end of the last spring horse show, the team qualifies to compete at Zones. The top two teams in each Zone move on to Nationals. One or two members are selected from each division to represent their team in the competition.
The AU Equestrian Team is a member of the IHSA competing Zone 4 Region 1. Other schools competing in this region include Catholic University, Christopher Newport College, College of William and Mary, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Goucher College, Hood College, John Hopkins University, Mary Washington College, Mount Saint Mary’s College, Saint Mary’s College, Sweet Briar College, University of Maryland, University of Richmond, and the US Naval Academy.
If riders would like to compete with the team, they first have to fill out a placement form. This form is used to place the student in the proper class of riding level. In addition the rider will have to pay a $30 dollar fee to be an individual member of the IHSA.
The American University Team generally goes to about 5 to 6 shows per semester. They range from a 30min to 3 hour drive away. Students have to supply their own showing clothes. This includes field or tall boots (you may NOT use leather half-chaps as an alternative), tan breeches, an approved safety helmet (NO plastic helmets with covers), a navy or dark green jacket, black riding gloves, and a shirt with a choker.
If you are a non-showing team member, we would love for you to join us at the horse shows. Not only will you learn a great deal and gain more confidence about showing, but it will also really help the team by supporting the competing members. It makes the showing experience all the more rewarding for everyone!