Emory and Henry earned the 2022 Collegiate Cup, defending their 2019 national title. Photo by EQ Media
Emory and Henry earned the Collegiate Cup, defending their title from the 2019 IHSA National Championship Horse Show, before COVID-19 forced the cancellation of two postseasons. The Emory and Henry Equestrian Team, led by coach Heather Richardson, topped all the IHSA hunter seat teams, earning 42 points and the Collegiate Cup championship. The Miami University Equestrian Team, coached by Heather Pinnick earned 39 points for the reserve championship.
“(During the down time) we learned how to ride,” Richardson said with a laugh. “We didn't show very much, if at all, we didn't do any collegiate stuff. We just really focused on correct technique, correct, riding, correct human stuff for the highest-level horsemanship. It's an all-inclusive program. It's not all just about the competition. It's about the technique. It's about the horse care. It's about doing well in your classes, like farrier science, nutrition–all the topics, so they're well-rounded horse people. It makes a difference in the saddle.”
Richardson explained that there are only eight riders representing Emory and Henry in competition and 12 supporting team members at IHSA Nationals but there are around 67 on the team that make it happen.
“It is a big program,” she said. “Everybody makes a contribution to what we're doing When we're hosting horse shows, everybody works, from the open riders all the way through the walk-trot. Every member plays a part. We have many horses too, to care for – and we’re always looking for more. We have lovely school horses donated from friends, family, friends and alumni.”
Richardson described that her aim in coaching is to get the best quality ride possible on the horse her students are riding at the time. She teaches her riders to be as normal and natural, as possible to elicit excellence from the horse. At a competition they watch the horses school, and they discuss the different types of horses to try to be sensitive to their idiosyncrasies.
COLLEGIATE CUP RESULTS
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY TOTAL POINTS COACH
- EMORY AND HENRY 42 HEATHER
- MIAMI UNIVERSITY 39 HEATHER PINNICK
- SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE 35 LIZZIE FISCH
- LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY 33 BROOKE CHASIN
- COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 29 NATASHA
- ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY 26 MARY DRUEDING
- UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT 23.5 MADELEINE AUSTIN
- SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN 23 ASHLEY HENRY
- CENTENARY UNIVERSITY 22 MICHAEL DOWLING
& HEATHER CLARK
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY 21.5 KRISTIN GROTEK