The 2018 Alumni Tournament of Champions Western show was held at Miami University in Oxford, OH on June 17, 2018. This was the first time since 2014 that the show was held separately from the Hunt Seat competition.
The show started off with a pre-party/end of year awards reception. This was a fun little meet and great reception as well as a chance to award our High Point Alumni Hunt Seat rider awards. Alumni reps across the county submitted top points accumulated throughout the competition season for each riders top seven shows. Riders entered to show in the 2018 Alumni Tournament had a chance to win the trophy. Six places were awarded ribbons and saddle pads sponsored by Jessie’s Creations. The top place went to Elisabeth Bianco from The Ohio State University.
In the Sundial Western Alumni Cup, the class was won by Michelle McDowell from Grand Valley State University after combining all of the horsemanship and reining section scores. Michelle showed not only fantastic ability in the saddle but both grace and humility and the ability to make a comeback after a slight mishap in one of the earlier classes.
The IHSAA Future Hunt Seat Alumni Cup, which is open to graduating seniors and undergrads who used up their 8 semesters of eligibility. Much like the Sundial Cup, the IHSAA Future Alumni Cup combines the score of a horsemanship and reining phase. This year, the trophy went home to Ohio with Miami University grad Lydia Yount.
Ultimately, 6 new champions went home with huge smiles and amazing prizes from our generous sponsors. It was heard several times throughout the day, “what amazing sponsors” we have at the tournament. Champions in the four regular classes were:
In addition to individual classes, we did have one “team” competition. Riders joined forces with people they may or may not have known before Saturday or Sunday. Teams of 3 competed in the team challenge, where scores were tracked for each team member with the lowest score dropped. Teams could add bonus points for having riders from different states and competition zones, as well as, best team name. This year, Farm Vet sponsored the class, the championship with each team member taking home a hat and towel went to “Z2R6.” Best team name awarded an extra point by judge Jessica Daniels went to “The Valley Girls.”
This year’s tournament was once again honored to have many sponsors making this day special for all. Nutrena generously sponsored all the ribbons for the sixth year assuring that our winners went home with beautiful ribbons. We had several amazing class, prize, and goodie bag sponsors including Sundial Show Clothing, Boho Rodeo Creations, IHSA Alumni Association, Steve Maxwell, NRHA, Back On Track, Real Women Ride, Smartpak, KJ Creations, and FarmVet.
The Alumni Tournament of Champions is an IHSA style horse show for IHSA alumni from around the country. Riders draw horses before competing and are not able to practice on the horse before walking into the show ring. The purpose of the show is to expand opportunities for IHSA Alumni to ride in a finals type atmosphere, as many only show a few times a year with busy careers and limited funds.
Keep an eye out for the 2019 Alumni Tournament of Champions, the date and location should be set by early fall. As always, there could be a few new surprises up our sleeves especially for Crazy number 8!