The Road to Regionals
The way the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association season works is that you have the “regular season” shows to get the points necessary to qualify for Regionals. You need to score 36 points to qualify (except in Open Horsemanship and Reining). Points earned depend on how you place in your class: 1st place is worth 7 points, 2nd is 5 points, 3rd is 4, 4th is 3, 5th is 2 and 6th place earns you one point.
This year I was lucky enough to have earned the necessary 36 points to qualify for Regionals. UF had 17 riders qualify across the divisions this year. The way that Regionals work is that all the riders who qualify in the Region during the season come together to compete against each other, as only the top two in each class advance to Semi-Finals. It’s intense and the pressure is definitely there, though when you know that you have your whole team behind you supporting you, it’s not so bad. One piece of advice from all of our coaches was to go out there, ride our best, be proud of how far we’ve come and know that no matter what the results are, we went out and did the best we could.
Regionals was held at Blue Lakes Farm in Newbury, Ohio this year. We made sure to brings lots of blankets to bundle up in as it was very cold! Sometimes we forget just how lucky we are to have a heated indoor arena at UF. Though it wasn’t half bad when we all just got under the blankets together (making the best of the weather situation). We left Findlay at 6 a.m., and got to the farm around 9:30 a.m., as we stopped for breakfast along the way. Aside from the actual showing, the car rides have to be my favorite part of these trips as that’s when we really catch up with each other and come up with all our inside jokes.
My season as a freshman on the Western IHSA team might be over, but I’ll definitely try out again next year. Congratulations to everybody who made it to Semi-Finals — Go Oilers!