November 14, 2012
By Tara ChristiansenThe American Quarter Horse Journal
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Jarrod Bush of University of Findlay and Oklahoma State University's Katy Krshka exit the Performance Arena to prepare for Round 2. (Journal photo)
In a blend of National Collegiate Equestrian Association- and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association-style competition, 16 student-athletes fought November 14 for their spots in the first AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge finals.
For the first round of competition at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show, each rider drew an unfamiliar horse and was allowed four minutes of warm-up time. From there, the riders entered the ring one-by-one to exhibit their skills in pattern work. Following the 16th rider, all competitors filed back into the Performance Arena to compete in rail work. When the eight riders were announced for Round 2, a new set of eight mounts was drawn.
“The great thing about the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge is it showcases both styles of intercollegiate competition,” said AQHA Director of Corporate and Affiliate Partnerships Leman Wall. “The finals will be run in a head-to-head format, with riders squaring off on the same horse.”
On November 15 in the finals, which kick off at 7 p.m., collegiate riders will be seeded one through four according to their place finish from the preliminary rounds. In the first finals bracket, riders 1 and 4 will ride head-to-head on the same horse; riders 2 and 3 will also ride head-to-head. The last two standing will move to the final round, and once again, ride head-to-head on unfamiliar horses.
The four riders battling it out in the first-ever challenge finals are:
“AQHA is honored to host the Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge at our World Show,” Leman said. “What a great venue to showcase the talents of our best collegiate riders and to put the world’s greatest horse on display in one of our industry’s most popular classes.”
Don’t miss the first AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge – head to the show to watch in person, or catch it on the live-stream.