FAIRFIELD, Conn, – Aug. 4, 2018– Members of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) are ready to converge at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Collegiate Horsemanship Championship at the 2018 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Aug. 6-7.
Photo by Madison Dempster
The AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Championship is a premier showcase of college equestrians and their horsemanship skills. Eight IHSA members and several alternates were selected to compete in a field of 16 collegiate riders. The three-phase competition kicks off with a preliminary collegiate horsemanship round Aug. 6, with eight riders advancing to a semi-final round later that day. The top four riders will advance to the finals held Aug. 7 in the Jim Norick Arena.
The riders will draw to ride world-class AQHA show horses donated by AQHA professionals. Unlike the IHSA format, the competitors will have a four-minute warmup prior to competition and the horses’ owners or trainers will be on hand for questions.
The riders selected include:
Codi Uecker, Rocky Mountain College
Rachel Kanaziz, Adrian College
Kendall Woellmer, West Texas A&M University
Conner Smith, St. Andrews University
Hanna Hedderick, University of Findlay
Grace Freeman, Auburn University
Anneleise Ritzi, University of Findlay
Erin Bosse, Ohio State University
The alternates include:
Kensey Ayres, Black Hawk College
Danielle Paulson, University of Wisconsin–River Falls
Haley Ruffner, Alfred University
2018 National Champion AQHA High Point rider Connor Smith from St. Andrews University is set to compete in Oklahoma. Hannah Jordan Hedderick is representing the University of Findlay, the 2018 IHSA National Championship AQHA Trophy team, along with her teammate, Anneleise Ritzi in Oklahoma.
Hanna Hedderick is one of eight IHSA riders that will compete in the
AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Championship. Photo courtesy of Hanna Hedderick
“I am very proud to be selected for this event,” Hedderick said. “It’s like an extra reward for all the hard work my coaches, teammates and I put in all year. It’s an honor to ride with the best of the best.”
Hedderick says that she would love to make the finals but her focus is just having the best ride she can and cheering on Ritzi and the other IHSA riders.
“I want to represent my team the best way I can,” she said. “I graduated in May, so this will be my final ride as a Findlay Oiler, so I want to make the best of it!”
Don’t miss any of the action in Oklahoma City. Click here to watch the free live stream of the at the 2018 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.
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ABOUT THE 2018 BUILT FORD TOUGH AQHYA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW
Held at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, more than 3,500 entries from the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark and Luxembourg are competing for 42 world championship titles at this year’s show. For the first time in Ford Youth World history, the youngest competitors will also be vying for world champion honors in seven core 13-and-Under classes.
HEAR FROM MORE IHSA AQHA COLLEGIATE HORSEMANSHIP CHAMPIONSHIP RIDERS:
"Being selected for this event is such an honor. I remember looking up to the riders that have competed in these special events in the past years, so being chosen myself is a big accomplishment.
Although getting called back or making the finals would be awesome, I really just want to have a good, clean ride and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience."
~ Erin Bosse, Ohio State University
"I feel so honored to represent my school, the University of Findlay, at this competition. I am very excited to join my team member, Hanna, at her last IHSA-related competition and be a part of this journey. I want to have a really solid pattern where I put all the elements I have practiced to work and walk out of that arena proud. I’m so thankful for all the guidance my coaches Kim and Spencer Zimmerman have given me. I’d like to showcase all that hard work when we get to Oklahoma."
~ Anneleise Ritzi, University of Findlay