Fairfield, Conn.—April 30, 2018 —The 2018 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) is set to kick off their National Championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, May 3-6. Young men and women from across the U.S. and Canada will descend upon the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex to represent their colleges and universities in hunter seat equitation and Western horsemanship in a range of levels from Walk-Trot through Open, alumni championships, the USEF/Cacchione Cup, the NRHA Individual Open Reining final and the AQHA Western High Point Rider national final. IHSA has assembled four highly-respected and experienced judges to officiate the event.

Diane Carney is a clinician, USHJA certified trainer, event organizer, commentator, course designer and USEF "R" judge. She serves on the USEF International Disciplines Committee and USHJA board of directors and is vice-chairperson of the USHJA Zone 5 Committee and a member of the USHJA Emerging Jumper task force. Carney, from Algonquin Illinois, helped to establish the USHJA Zone 5 College Scholarship. She is the organizer of the George H. Morris Chicago clinic. Carney is a three-time recipient of the USHJA President’s Distinguished Service Award for her involvement in USHJA national programs.

Carney’s judging resume includes the 2016 ASPCA/Maclay Medal Finals, the New England Equitation Championships, the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), HITS Thermal, Bend Oregon, Blenheim, Flintridge and Sonoma, LA Masters, Kentucky Summer, the Sunshine Series USHJA $100,000 Hunter Prix, HITS $500,000 Hunter Prix, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) the IHSA and the USEF Pony Finals.

“Since the late ‘60s, IHSA has provided team and individual equestrian experiences for their college riders at all levels,” Carney said. “Bob Cacchione and the many people involved in the    IHSA produce a valued experience. I am honored to be one of the officials at such a prestigious and important national championship.”  

Tony Sgarlata, from Raleigh, North Carolina, is a well-known and respected USEF R judge, rider, trainer, coach and clinician throughout the United States and Canada. He is known industrywide as an effective trainer and a master at preparing horses and ponies for all levels of showing. Sgarlata has trained and coached numerous zone and national champions. His philosophy is to give back to the sport with the skills and expertise he has learned from working with talented trainers and riders.
Sgarlata has judged the hunter and equitation rings throughout North America including the International Hunter Futurity, World Champion Hunter Rider events and USHJA hunter derbies, at shows such as WEF, Tryon, Lake Placid, Old Salem Country Heir I & II and more. Sgarlata also writes a column titled “Ask the Judge.”

“I've been a big fan of the IHSA program for years,” Sgarlata said. “The dedication and talent of the coaches and riders is beyond impressive. Combining that with exceptional horses makes this show an absolute privilege to judge.  I'm looking forward to it.”

From Italy to Japan, Charlene Carter has traveled the globe, judging horse and rider teams for the best skills and picture-perfect performances. Carter and her family own and operate Carter Show Horses, in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, where they have produced multiple American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World and Congress champions.

Carter is an internationally sought-after judge and holds licenses from many breed associations including the AQHA, APHA, PHBA, NSBA, NRHA, ApHC and POA. She has officiated at the AQHA Youth, Amateur and Open World Shows, the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, the APHA Youth, Amateur and Open World, the PHBA Youth, Amateur and Open World, the NSBA World, AQHA, ApHC and APHA European Championships, the PtHA World Show, the PHBA World Show, the APHA European Championships and the NASMA Congress, the IHSA and IEA National Championships.

“I’m thrilled.” Carter said. “It is an honor to judge IHSA Nationals."

Allen Mitchels hails from Michigan City, Indiana. He is the former president of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) and brings a wealth of knowledge to the judges’ box. He is a longtime advocate of horse welfare and the recipient of the NSBA Jack Benson award, presented annually to recognize individuals who promote NSBA, its mission and interest in the pleasure horse industry. Mitchels was instrumental in the development of the current language for the hierarchy of criteria used to judge pleasure events. He is the author of many educational articles about the judging process.
Mitchels has judged numerous world championships, including the Quarter Horse Congress, the Dixie National Championship, as well as major performance futurities and maturities in over a dozen different countries. Mitchels holds judges’ cards with NRHA, AQHA, NCHA, NSBA and NRCHA.

“The IHSA is a dynamic force that is very important to the future of the horse show industry,” Mitchels said. “This is due to IHSA’s programs for coeducational participation, for beginner riders to the most experienced competitors.  I am very happy to be involved as a judge.”