Robert E. 'Bob' Cacchione
Bob Cacchione with competitors at Nationals in 2017. Photo by Tyler VanVelsen
Bob Cacchione, from Harrison, New York, and now Fairfield, Connecticut, founded the IHSA, the first official collegiate riding and competition organization, in 1967. With many as 250,000 men and women that have participated in the IHSA, he has made a profound impact on the equestrian world. Just 18 and a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, when he launched the program, he made the organization his life’s work and passion. He served as IHSA executive director for over 52 years. The organization now has over 400 participating colleges and universities and 10,000 members. Because the IHSA offers all levels of competition, from beginner through advanced, and offers college students a way to learn to how to ride, IHSA makes a significant contribution to the grassroots development of the equestrian sports.
Cacchione has been recognized for his commitment to college riding with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award, the USHJA Presidents Distinguished Service Award, US Equestrian/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary College and the Equine Industry Vision Award, sponsored by Zoetis and presented by American Horse Publications. He also serves as vice chairman of the Gentlemen’s Committee of the National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. He retired from the executive director position in September 2019 and continues to promote the IHSA and serve as founder emeritus.