By Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer
UMass Dartmouth Corsairs equestrian team placed third overall on their competition for the University of Rhode Island’s IHSA competition that took place this Saturday, November 12, at the Mystic Valley Hunting Club in Glades Ferry, Conn.
The Intercollegiate Horse Show association was founded in 1999 in April, to help establish and consolidate competition amongst the college level, while also making for a level playing field regardless of college finances or level of skill or the condition of the horses.
To this end, each college hosts an IHSA competition, with the college that is hosting the particular event providing the horses and also the training for each event. Each college presents the riders and jockeys from their own teams and clubs, but the host does provide the fields, horses, equipment and training.
The competition that took place this Saturday was hosted by URI, which is about forty-five minutes away from the college itself at the Mystic Valley Hunting Club. It was consisted of the zone and region which URI is part of, Zone 1, Region 1.
Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, Roger Williams University, College of the Holy Cross, Clark University, Rhode Island College, Becker College, UMASS Dartmouth and Salve Regina are all the colleges that are part of the same region and zone for URI.
The ranking for the competition goes for that first place gets seven points, second places gets five, and third place gets three points. It is overall based upon the skill level and positioning of the riders during the contest and how well they controlled their horses and performed during the show.
The UMass Dartmouth corsairs ultimately earned three points for the competition, and placed third overall, coming in behind two other colleges that went there.
The IHSA is an all-day event, starting in the morning and continuing until well into the evening.
Some of the events featured are the walk-trot-canter competition, the over-flat, the over-fences, and the walk trot. All of these skills brought particular focus onto each aspect of the horsing teams and encouraged exposure of those skills and refinement of them in such a way as to provide for an example of those skills.
First comers to the event for UMass Dartmouth were first-years Ava Soderberg who performed in the walk-trot-canter and Lyndsey Gretchell, who also performed in the walk-trot-canter. Many of the UMass Dartmouth members were returning to the competition with their third returning years. Junior Nicole Ineson participated in the walk-trot, and junior Anna von Eineim participated in the intermediate flat.
Unlike most other competitions, the IHSA does not focus on specifically winning points in the typical way with horse races, but instead places more emphasis on the actual display of excellence and skill displayed within the competition.
It is more focused on technique and the ability to adequately maneuver and guide the horse in a display of the rider’s skill.
Out of the ten colleges that were there, UMass Dartmouth placed third, a notable feat for the college.