AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association announces riders who will compete at the AQHA World Championship Show’s special event.

Intercollegiate Horse Show Association
June 14, 2013

Douglas Mohr and Kodi Anderson compete in horsemanship at the 2013 IHSA National Championships

Douglas Mohr and Kodi Anderson are two out of the eight IHSA riders set to compete in the 2013 AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge. In IHSA horsemanship competition, riders perform a pattern, plus rail work. (Journal photo)

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association announced the eight IHSA horsemanship riders who have been selected to participate in the 2013 AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge, November 20-21 in conjunction with the AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.

The IHSA riders selected include 2013 IHSA National Championships AQHA high-point rider Austin Griffith of Ohio State University, and reserve AQHA high-point rider Ashley Winters of the University of Findlay, who continued her season despite the grief of losing her AQHA show horse to cancer.
Other riders include a member of the 2013 IHSA National Championships high-point western team, Julia Roberts of West Texas A&M University, who was also selected in 2012, but was unable to ride due to her participation the West Texas A&M University collegiate horse judging contest, in which she and her team became reserve champions.

The complete list of IHSA riders selected for the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge is as follows:

  • Julia Roberts, West Texas A&M University
  • Austin Griffith, Ohio State University
  • Douglas Mohr, Ball State University
  • Emily Honey, Oregon State University
  • Alissa Frederick, Black Hawk College
  • Rebecca Strunk, Clemson University
  • Ashley Winters, University of Findlay
  • Kodi Anderson, North Central Texas College

Austin Griffith, a business and marketing major at Ohio State, cited both hard work and IHSA as integral to the path leading him to Oklahoma City. The newly minted AQHA high-point rider from the 2013 IHSA National Championships is also a two-time (2008, 2009) winner at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

“I was so excited when I received the invitation,” said Ashley Winters, the 2013 IHSA National's reserve AQHA high-point rider. Winters is a freshman majoring in environmental safety and occupational health and western equestrian studies at the University of Findlay.

“During the show season, I lost my American Quarter Horse show horse to cancer,” Winters said. “This was an extremely hard time for me and the only way to cope was to keep riding. I knew the open level was going to be really tough and I worked really hard, practicing five times a week for reining and horsemanship. The Findlay IHSA team has wonderful coaches. At Nationals, their advice was to go out there and show them what a freshman can do.”

Now she gets her chance to show them in the AQHA World Championship Show arena.

For Douglas Mohr, who will represent Ball State, it's a dream come true.

“Ever since hearing of the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge, it's been a dream to be selected and represent my university, and now that dream is a reality,” Mohr said. “It's a huge honor to be one of eight IHSA riders picked, and I am very grateful. To be surrounded by the best collegiate riders will be a humbling and rewarding experience.”

Mohr is pursuing a masters in occupational therapy, having just earned his bachelors in exercise science.

Animal and veterinary science major Rebecca Strunk said, “I was honestly shocked to be invited to this prestigious event. It makes all the long hours of practice worth it. It's an honor to represent Clemson University and hope to do so to the best of my abilities.”

The eight collegiate equestrian athletes representing their educational institutions in the Challenge were selected based on their 2012-13 individual statistics for horsemanship. The preliminary round of AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge competition will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20. The AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge finals will be held the evening of November 21. Three IHSA alternates have also been identified, pending availability of the original eight candidates.

Learn more about IHSA riders and teams at www.IHSAinc.com.

About the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge

Mounted on unfamiliar American Quarter Horses, 16 collegiate equestrian riders will square off in the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge. The competitors are afforded four minutes of warm-up time before they ride for the Challenge championship.

Eight student-athletes from the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (view the eight NCEA riders chosen to compete in 2013) and eight from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association will compete in the event's prelims. The Challenge is held in conjunction with the AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.

The inaugural event, held in 2012, was won by Texas A&M University's Carey Nowacek.