On Friday, Sept. 12 the Sweet Briar Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team tryouts were held to determine which riders would represent Sweet Briar for the 2008-2009 school year.
In the IHSA format, riders compete on horses provided by the host school. They pull a horse through a random drawing, mount and perform any last-minute adjustments to their stirrups, and then enter the ring to compete without being allowed to practice on the horse. The system tests riders on how well they can read the horse in a short amount of time, and follow with an efficient and elegant ride.
Riders are divided into levels determined by their prior riding experience. Levels start with beginner classes in Walk, Trot and move up to Open classes in which riders jump fences around 3 feet in height.
To make the team selection, Sweet Briar coaches conducted the tryouts using the IHSA format. Riders were assigned a horse to show over fences if they qualified for a jumping level and on the flat — meaning in the ring with no fences. They showed in their classes without warm-up time.
Riders were evaluated by a panel of judges made up of director of riding Shelby French, associate director of riding Mimi Wroten, head IHSA coach Jon Conyers and assistant IHSA coach Emily Casali.
After the first trials, riders in contention were called back to try out again on a different horse until the judging panel had picked the team.
Congratulations to the following riders for making this year’s Sweet Briar IHSA team.
Kathryn Davilli ’09, Vienna, Va.
Greer Gordon ’12, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Townsend Horvath ’12, Ventura, Calif.
Michelle Karpaitis ’12, Virginia Beach, Va.
Paige Kaylor ’10, Owings Mills, Md.
Heather McPheeters’10, Columbia, S.C.
Alex Mebane ’12, Medford, Ore.
Meredith Newman’09, Charlottesville, Va.
Alysha Norbury ’10, Chesapeake, Va.
Lauren Perhala ’12, Avon Lake, Ohio
Emma Rakoski ’12, Ellicott City, Md.
Emily Richonne ’12, Newport Beach, Calif.
Alison Sims ’09, Alpharetta, Ga.
Deborah Willis ’11, Ridgefield, Conn.
Abbey Wilson ’12, Lynchburg, Va.
Elizabeth Wise ’11, Memphis, Tenn.
“We are very lucky to have four veteran IHSA riders return to the team this year in Katie Davilli, Paige Kaylor, Heather McPheeters and Alison Sims, and look forward to working with the rest of our new talent,” said assistant coach Casali.
Radford University will host the season’s first show on Sunday, Oct. 5. The remaining fall schedule follows:
– Friday, Oct. 10 at Hollins University
– Friday, Oct. 17 at Randolph College
– Saturday, Nov. 1 at Bridgewater College
Updates on how the team is doing will be posted as the season progresses.