CHARLESTON, S.C. – The College of Charleston equestrian team earned a berth to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone 5 Championships at Evermore Farm in Brooklet, Ga., on Saturday, April 6. The Cougars earned their way by championing IHSA Zone 5 Region 3 with six first-place finishes in eight competitions – and a 66 point cushion over the next best team – over the course of the regular season.
The four other regional champions across Zone 5, with whom the Cougars will be competing on Saturday, are Savannah College of Art and Design, Vanderbilt, Virginia Intermont and Berry College.
The teams will be vying for one of two spots in the IHSA National Horse Show to be held May 2-5 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.
CofC will be represented by Eliza Hay in Open Fences and Open Flat, Emily Rhodes in Intermediate Fences, Christina Couper in Intermediate Flat, Malka Fox-Epstein in Novice Fences, Trudy Noll in Novice Flat, Janie Goodwin in Walk Trot Canter, and Alyssa Johnson in Walk Trot.
The Cougars are also sending two individual riders who are competing for a spot at Nationals independent from the team results. Sophie Gotwald is competing individually in Intermediate Fences along with Hay in both Open Flat and Open Fences.
Hay, with the most combined flat and fences points within Zone 5 Region 3, also qualified for the Cacchione Cup and advances directly to IHSA Nationals to compete for the cup – the highest individual honor in collegiate riding.
If the Cougars place first or second as a team on Saturday, they will earn their 24th team appearance at Nationals and their first since 2010.