IHSA Graduates to the Big Time

Fairfield, CT - While the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association readies for the 39th anniversary of its prestigious National Championships, May 3-6, at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC, riders, coaches, and alum have already been busy earning their own well-deserved 15 minutes of fame.

2008 USEF/Cacchione Cup winner, James H. Fairclough II, is a real “Renaissance Man” as part of the 16-member cast of Full Metal Jousting, a one-hour series premiering Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 10 p.m. on the HISTORY Channel. The 10-part series features full-contact jousts with competitors going head-to-head on horseback in tests of strength, endurance and courage.

 High-speed cameras capture every blow as jousters, equipped in modern suits of steel weighing 80 pounds, with 11-foot-long, solid fir lances, charge and collide at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour. The last man standing wins $100,000 cash.

“I wanted to show everyone that show jumpers are just as tough as any other division,” said the Drew University alum. “After a week of boot camp, we went into full-on combat. It was an amazing experience.”  Jousters’ backgrounds vary from an ex-Marine stunt man and polo player to a bull rider. Since his Cacchione Cup win, Fairclough has ridden Starquest, owned by Mary Chapot, to the 2011 Six-Year-Olds Circuit Championship, and co-rode Zealous to the 2011 WEF Circuit title for the Seven- and Eight-Year-Olds, and 2011 Horse of the Year for Seven- and Eight-Year-Olds.

University of Findlay pharmacy student and IHSA teammate, Lauren Eichstadt, was recognized in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd. Eichstadt, who hails from Greenville, PA, and is now midway through her junior year, won the 2011 Farnam All-Around Amateur title at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) world championships on her 10-year-old bay AQHA gelding, Its My Lucky Detail. The prize included a check for $15,000, trophy and equestrian supplies.  

Deborah Rittereiser, coach of the Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY) IHSA team known as The Pride, announced that, for the first time in its history, the Hofstra Equestrian Club was recognized as 2011 Sports Club of the Year during the Hofstra Student Leadership Awards presented annually since 1935.  “It was so unbelievable.  I have wonderful students and riders,” said Rittereiser.  The club was honored for its leadership and commitment, success in recruitment and retention (nearly doubling membership in 2011), and qualifying two riders for IHSA Zone Finals.

Follow more IHSA accomplishments on its website http://www.ihsainc.com and official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Intercollegiate-Horse-Show-Association