LEC to host Custom Saddlery Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championships


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Lake Erie College is honored to host the annual Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championships on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, 2018. ‘S’ judges Sue Madden-Mandes of Ohio and Sarah Michael of Michigan will preside over the events at the George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center.

“Our student riders at Lake Erie have a long tradition of study, practice and performance of dressage,” said Dr. Pamela Hess, dean of the School of Equine Studies. “We consider dressage to be the most fundamental expression of correct riding, and we are excited to see the best college riders from across the nation compete here at the George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center.”

The College’s IDA team, coached by Debby Savage, will compete for the championship with riders Giuliana Raggio (First Level Test 2), McKenna Barnes (Training Level Test 3), Alexa Clark (Training Level Test 1) and Hannah Lujbli (Intro Level Test B).

In addition, Morgan Blanyer has earned an individual spot to ride Training Level Test 1 for Lake Erie College.

Twelve other teams from nine regions will compete: University of New Hampshire, Mount Holyoke College, Centenary University, University of Findlay, Otterbein University, Bridgewater College, Averett University, Miami University, Emory & Henry College, Saint Andrews University, University of Florida and Stanford University.

Dr. Hess said, “These riders have worked hard throughout the entire academic year to earn a spot as an individual rider or a team rider representing their college for the National Championship. Every rider here this weekend is a winning rider, and we can't wait to see them compete for the top honors in the nation in intercollegiate dressage.”

IDA competition demands immense concentration and skill, given that riders have only 10 minutes to warm up on their assigned mounts. Riders must demonstrate influence over the movements of an unfamiliar horse.

Their physical mastery is built upon a comprehension of classical dressage theory and training. With that understanding, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF)/IDA Quiz Challenge, a measure of that knowledge, will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 27.

Six LEC students have qualified to compete: Erin Diehl (Intro Level), Morgan Blanyer (Lower Level), Alexa Clark (Lower Level), Elizabeth Affeld (Upper Level), Kiersten Pratt (Upper Level) and Giuliana Raggio (First Level).

Last year, Elizabeth Affeld won the Grand Prize, an internship at Hilltop Farm, Inc. LEC Students Giuliana Raggio and Renee Monzon ’17 won the Upper Training and First Level categories, respectively.

The mission of IDA is to introduce students to the equestrian discipline of dressage and to foster continued development, understanding and appreciation in the art of dressage through organized student competitions and educational opportunities.

Our School of Equine Studies holds its students to the highest standards of horsemanship, including those set by IDA and USDF. Lake Erie College proudly welcomes one and all to experience the IDA National Championships.

For more information, contact Dr. Pamela Hess at phess@lec.edu or Debby Savage at dsavage@lec.edu.

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