Intercollegiate Dressage Team Competes In Nationals April 25 - 27
By Beth Potier, Media Relations
April 23, 2008
UNH’s Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team has won the northeast
regional championships for the second time. Five riders from the team will
compete in the IDA national championships this weekend, April 25 – 27,
2008, at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.
Five student riders will represent UNH at the national championships: Caroline
McCarthy, a junior finance major from Geneva, N.Y.; Hillary Feldman, a junior
pre-vet major from East Greenwich, R.I.; Kimberly Guyer, a junior pre-vet major
from Northborough, Mass.; Casey Hoatson, a sophomore occupational therapy major
from York, Maine; and Lisa Moskal, a freshman equine science major from New
Haven, Conn. Students compete individually at their levels and as a team.
For more information on the Intercollegiate Dressage Association national
championships, go to www.teamdressage.com.
Dressage is a sport that can be likened to ballet for horse and rider; the
famous Lippizan stallions of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna are an example
of dressage at its highest level. Riders strive to systematically develop and
improve the horse’s strength, flexibility, balance, gait and movement
to create a harmonious partnership between horse and rider, with invisible
Intercollegiate dressage competition has the added challenge that the rider
must perform on an unfamiliar horse. Each college takes a turn hosting a show
and provides all the horses for the riders of every team. In a true test of
skill, tact and sensitivity, riders draw horses at random and have just 10
minutes to get to know the horse and try to establish a harmonious relationship
with the animal.
“This was our strongest season ever,” said Sarah Hamilton, director
of the UNH Equine Program and coach of the IDA team. “We won five of
the seven regional competitions, and not only did our team win the northeast
regional championships, students from UNH won the regional championships in
three of the four individual divisions.”
Hamilton notes that competitors ride several hours each week in addition to
practice time, and that becoming an effective dressage rider can take years.
The intercollegiate dressage season begins in September, breaks from December
through February, then resumes in March.
The UNH Equine Program offers a bachelor’s degree in animal science
that allows students to concentrate in one of the following three tracks: equine
industry and management, therapeutic riding, or equine science. Classes include
stable management, horse care, teaching, training, horsemanship, conformation,
equine diseases, equine sports medicine, reproduction, nutrition and horse
trials management. The Equine Program also has an active riding program which
concentrates in dressage and eventing and two equestrian teams, the Intercollegiate
Horse Show Association Team (hunt seat) and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association
Team (dressage). Both teams had their best seasons ever this year. UNH hosts
two nationally recognized horse trials and two nationally recognized dressage
shows each year. UNH’s therapeutic riding program is recognized as a
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association Premier Operating Center.
UNH has an active Horsemen’s Club, as well as study abroad programs that
include a week-long trip to Portugal for the concentrated study of classical
For more information on the UNH IDA team, go to http://www.unh.edu/horsemensclub/IDA.html.
For information on the Equine Program, go to www.equine.unh.edu.