40th IHSA National Championships Announce EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Award

February 27, 2013

Fairfield, CT (February 27, 2013) - In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of America’s most prestigious college equestrian competition, organizers of the 2013 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships, May 2-5, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, are delighted to announce the debut of the EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Award in both Open Hunter Seat and Open Reining Classes, sponsored by EquestrianCoach.com and Bernie Traurig, and offering star-studded internships with Missy Clark, coach of more than 35 equitation and hunter/jumper champions, and World Equestrian Games Reining Gold medalist, Tim McQuay.

“This is a very exciting sponsorship for IHSA,” said Rutgers University equestrian team coach and IHSA Public Relations Committee chair, Kelly Francfort. The two winners of EquestrianCoach.com Achievement of Excellence Awards, selected by Traurig, with IHSA Nationals judges Scott Fitton and Anne Braswell (Hunter Seat), and Deborah Kail and Joe Carter (Western), will each get a Lifetime Membership to EquestrianCoach.com, Antares helmet (comparable headgear for Western), embroidered hat, jacket, saddle pad and backpack, and $1,000 stipend to offset expenses related to the award apprenticeships. The Open Hunter Seat Award winner gets a six-day apprenticeship with Missy Clark; the Open Reining Award winner gets a six-day apprenticeship with Tim McQuay.

“I’d like to win an award like this,” joked Traurig. “We are all interested in helping young riders and rewarding good horsemanship with an opportunity that can give a riding career that ‘springboard’ effect. I have been inspired by the Emerging Athlete Program (EAP) of the USHJA, and respect the value IHSA places on horsemanship. When I called Missy and Tim, it didn’t take either coach more than a second to say yes, they were on board with the award and its internships.

“I remember how important it was to me to be recognized by a horseman like Bill Steinkraus,” said Traurig, whose career took off in the 1960s soon after accepting a Most Promising Young Rider of the Year award from Steinkraus at the National Horse Show. “That was more than fifty years ago and I still have the trophy on my wall. It meant that much.” Now it is time to give a ‘leg up’ to talented intercollegiate riders. And instructors: “All coaches of the winning riders will also receive free annual memberships to EquestrianCoach.com.”

Clark consistently leads America’s equitation training ranks, having coached 35 national and reserve champions over 17 consecutive years, and producing such national jumper and hunter champions as USEF squad rider Hillary Dobbs and rookie star, Darragh Kenny of Ireland. Clark and husband, John Brennan, own North Run of Warren, VT and Wellington, FL, and have added former USEF/Cacchione Cup and Olympic champion, Peter Wylde, to their facility.

At McQuay Stables, Tim and his wife Colleen have helped shape the modern performance horse world. He was the first-ever $2 Million Dollar rider in National Reining Horse Association history, All Time Leading Money Earner for 11 years, and has won every major NRHA sanctioned event including its Futurity, Breeders Classic, Derby and Superstakes. He has earned prize money on 229 different reiners and was inducted in 2000 to the NRHA Hall of Fame, having left his mark on Western riding as a five-time All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Champion, two-time AQHA World Champion and multiple NRHA World Champion. On Mister Montana Nic, he won Silver at the 2005 FEI Masters Reining in Italy, and at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, earned Team Gold and Individual Silver medals on Mister Nicadual. In 2010, he again represented U.S. Reining at the World Equestrian Games, winning Individual Gold and securing his reputation as one of the world’s great reining horseman.

EquestrianCoach.com, a proud educational service provider for IHSA, was founded by Traurig as an online equestrian education for jumping disciplines, filming tips with such Olympians and champion coaches as Denny Emerson, Laura Kraut, Rodrigo Pessoa, and Peter Wylde; Missy Clark, John French, Stacia Madden, Peter Pletcher, and Louise Serio, and using slow-motion, stills, graphics and voice-overs to produce high definition (HD) videos for members (IHSA students and coaches get discounts on membership).

Traurig has reached the pinnacle of three Olympic Equestrian disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage and Three-Day Eventing. The 2009 National Show Hunter Hall of Fame inductee’s career began its arc in 1961 with wins on Trouble Maker in the ASPCA Maclay and AHSA Medal Finals, and ‘Most Promising Young Rider’ recognition by William Steinkraus. In 1964, Traurig piloted Envoy to second-place in the Olympic Three-Day Trials at Gladstone, NJ. In 2010, the California Professional Horsemen's Association honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Traurig today devotes himself to spreading education, through his clinics around the world and EquestrianCoach.com.

About the IHSA

The IHSA mission is to promote competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional and national levels. IHSA is based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her financial status or riding level. To learn more, visit www.IHSAinc.com.

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