March 2020 - Collegiate Competition
Written by photos by Kim F. Miller
Monday, 02 March 2020 19:52
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IHSA competition showcases good horsemanship and good fun.

photos by Kim F. Miller

UC Berkeley’s Cal Equestrian hosted an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition for Zone 8, Region 1, the weekend of Feb. 1-2 at Iron Horse Equestrian Center in the East Bay Area’s Pleasanton.

The IHSA was formed by Bob Cacchione in 1967 to enable college students to continue or begin an equestrian experience in an affordable manner and to compete on a level playing field with other universities. Team members do not have to own their own horse: instead, participating schools provide the horses. Teams hosting competitions provide horses for all competitors and riders draw names from a hat to determine what horse they will ride.


IHSA now counts 40 regions with eight zones, with 400 member colleges in 45 states and Canada. Its approximately 10,000 members compete in Hunt Seat and Western divisions. The IHSA has more schools and riders on the East Coast where it started, but the West is rising in both regular season participation numbers and in performances by the teams and individuals who qualify for the Nationals in the spring.


In addition to Cal, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, Sonoma State, Santa Clara and Cal Poly fielded teams for the early February weekend. At a Stanford-hosted show the following weekend, Stanford secured its 15th consecutive regional championships and the 100th regular season victory for longtime coach Vanessa Bartsch.

Camaraderie within and between teams was evident when we visited the Cal Berkeley show. Good riding, good horsemanship and good fun were all in abundant evidence.



Friendly competitors.

Isabel DeLano of UC SC

Sonoma State team.

Cal Poly teammates discuss a round.

The Horse Draw.

Stanford Equestrian coach Vanessa Bartsch confers with riders.

Cal Poly Equestrian team.