Battle for the Hunter Seat High-Point Rider Title Begins at the IHSA 2023 National Championship Horse Show

IHSA Hunter Seat High-Point Rider - Kylie Schoelen DelVal - Avatar Miami University - Andrew Ryback Photography
Kylie Schoelen from Delaware Valley University on Miami University's Avatar scored an 85 in the Hunter Seat High-Point Rider Over Fences class. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Lexington, KY – May 5, 2023 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Hunter Seat High-Point Rider, presenting the Cacchione Cup, competition kicked off in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Twenty-four riders contested the Bill Yeager (Midland, Virginia) designed course in the first round to determine who takes home the Cacchione Cup as Hunter Seat High-Point Rider. The course flowed nicely with ten jumping efforts which provided riders some striding options to best showcase their skills. The judges rewarded a forward pace and accuracy with seven riders scoring in the 80s.

Delaware Valley University (DelVal/Doylestown, Pennsylvania) senior Kylie Schoelen (Toms River, New Jersey) rode Avatar (Miami University, Oxford, Ohio) to lead the class with a score of 85.

IHSA-watch the winning round


“I drew a really great horse and once I started trotting, I knew this is it,” said Schoelen. “I just went out there and did my thing.

“I've been riding hunters my whole life, so we just kind of clicked,” she added. “He liked a gappier distance which is what I like, so it was amazing.”

“She is amazing under pressure,” said DelVal Hunter Seat Team Head Coach, Genna Marano. “She didn't have any nerves today. She just went in and did her job.”

Close behind with an 84.5 was Centenary University senior, Morgan Munz (Califon, New Jersey) aboard the Skidmore College (Sherborn, Massachusetts) mare, Gigi. Elizabeth Nevins (Boston, Massachusetts), a senior at Boston University, rode to a score of 84 with Laguna, another mount provided by Skidmore College.

The Hunter Seat High-Point Rider-Flat was divided into two sections of 12 riders. Judges tested the riders at the walk, trot and canter both with and without stirrups.

A work-off at the judges’ discretion is slated for Saturday morning to determine the 2023 Hunter Seat High-Point Rider National Champion.

Both Individual and Team Introductory Equitation on the Flat national champions were awarded. The individual champion was West Texas A&M University’s (Canyon, Texas) Paige Doyle (Arnold, Maryland) and the Hollins University (Hollins, Virginia) mount, Eloquence. The reserve championship went to Yunsi Li (Guangzhou, China), a junior from Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, Massachusetts) on Rolex, a bay gelding from Centenary University (Hackettstown, New Jersey). Julia Berry (,) from University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida) was third with Otto, provided by St. Lawrence University (Canton, New York).

University of Southern California’s (Los Angeles, California) Hailey Newbury rode to the Team Introductory Equitation on the Flat championship title on the bay gelding Mo, from Skidmore College. The reserve call went to Mara Bunderson (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin), a University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wisconsin) sophomore. Bunderson rode Walter from Goucher College (Baltimore, Maryland). Taylor Fox of Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) earned third place honors aboard SCAD’s own, Pork Chop.

The hunter seat competition day ended with the Team Novice Equitation on the Flat where Julia Mallia (Crozet, Virginia) from University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina) piloted the Hollins University mount, Eloquence, to the championship title.

IHSA National Championship competition resumes in the Alltech Arena Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Highlights include the conclusion of the Hunter Seat High-Point Rider, presenting the Cacchione Cup, and the Back on Track Western High-Point Rider classes.