Lehigh University alumni riders Lena Andrews Licata (on left) and Katie Moulton (on right) survived Zone 3, Region 4 Regionals on March 17th
when this photo was taken but saw their seasons come to an end at Zones on April 1st. Though logic would say their next time facing IHSA competition would
probably be in September a summer horse show planned for the end of July will change this.
JULY ALUMNI SHOW WILL BE THE FIRST OF IT'S KIND
Sometime earlier this year Lena Andrews Licata, who is the alumni representative for
IHSA Zone 3, Region 4, created an alumni page for her region on Facebook. Jamie
Mast Windle, who is the alumni rep in Zone 4, Region 4, happened to see it.
Jamie then reached out to Lena with an idea: How about a competition between
the alumni from our two regions?
This can be a dangerous thing. A Fairleigh Dickinson University
undergraduate named Bob Cacchione started a riding club on the school's Teaneck,
New Jersey campus in the mid 1960's. The FDU-Madison, NJ campus started a club at
the same time. Cacchione chalenged Madison campus coach Jack Fritz's team to a
competition. This multi-campus competition received some press at the time and
suddenly schools like S.U.N.Y. - Stony Brook and Jersey City State wanted to
compete against the FDU's. And soon enough the New York Metro area riding teams
were calling themselves the IHSA!
In spite of the fear it might be habit-forming Andrews Licata agreed with Mast Windle
and the idea of a free-standing alumni show (not sanctioned by the IHSA but
involving individuals who once competed in it) was born. This Alumni show will
take place on Sunday, July 29th on the campus of Valley Forge Military College in
Wayne, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. The structure of the show was influenced
by the Tournament of Champions invitational series. The concept of limiting the
show to 'Zone 3, Region 4 versus Zone 4, Region 4' was expanded to include alumni
throughout Zones 3 and 4. Around June 15th the decision was made to invite
alumni throughout Zone 2 as well.
"There will be four classes that any 2011-12 (IHSA) alumni can participate in:
Alumni Flat, Advanced Alumni Flat, 2'3 Fences (think Novice), 2'6 Fences (think
Intermediate)," said Andrews Licata. "Each alumni can enter one flat and one fence class.
We are also having an Alumni Cup class in which each region can send two alumni to
compete in a Cacchione type competition. We are accepting a maximum of 24 riders
Though the deadline for entering the alumni show is not until July 15th there
are already several competitors on board. "We have about 3-4 alumni in each region
(within Zones 3 and 4) that are interested in attending," said Andrews Licata.
Having been part of Zone 3, Region 2 before Zone 4, Region 4 was created from it
prior to the 2010-11 season, Mast Windle felt it would not be difficult to get
alumni from multiple regions interested.
"I knew (Zone 3, Region 4) had a good alumni turnout and (Zone 4, Region 4)
did as well this year so I thought it would be kind of fun to get together and
maybe include (Zone 3, Region 2) since they started the season with a healthy
number," says Mast Windle. "We are hoping it becomes a success; alumni need to
have some fun too! I'm hoping (Zone 4, Region 4) alumni help support this
show...we have a few participants and I know a few friends from other (Zone 3)
regions are coming...I believe Lena is forwarding the prize list to (Zone 2) this
"Valley Forge became the site as Sara (Palmer, head coach of the Villanova
University and Valley Forge Military College IHSA teams and a former University
of Delaware alumni rider) loves IHSA as much as me and is always glad to help
me out so she is giving me a great deal. Lena mentioned Lehigh as a host
location but only had six horses while we have 12 horses or so we can use at
Valley Forge and I know I can get Sara to make a few calls if we need more."
Considering that the IHSA alumni divisions have been around since 1970 it is
surprising that something like this hasn't happened sooner. Andrews Licata and Mast
Windle are hoping that the show is successful enough to become an annual event.
"(Jamie and I) both hope that the idea grows and can expand each year," said
Andrews Licata, who didn't say if the show would rotate to different locations though
it seems likely it would should alumni from great distances want to be involved.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that the show is held in July,
essentially keeping IHSA-related riders active on a year-round basis should the
alumni show become an annual event.
(Riders who competed at least once in an IHSA Alumni Class during the 2011-12
regular season within Zones 2, 3 or 4 are eligible to participate in the July 29th
alumni show. For more information or to receive a prize list please contact Lena
Andrews Licata at Lena.Licata@yahoo.com)
UPDATE: The July 29th show will be called the "Alumni Tournament of Champions"
though the event is in no way associated with the Tournament of Champions series
founded by IHSA National Secretary Jim Arrigon nor his Beckett Run Farm. Andrews
Licata has set up a webpage for the event,
alumnitoc.webs.com/ which explains in detail each of the divisions being offered
and other incidentals such as the 8:00AM start time and that the Judge will be
Louise Kass. It will be a breath of fresh air to have a show involving the IHSA
format in the middle of the summer says this writer.