Capping off a second successful Show Season on February 10, 2013 with a show at home, the Echo Farm IEA Show Team qualified both its middle school and high school teams for Zone 2 Regionals which will be held the weekend of March 2-3 at the Linden Hall School in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
The Interscholastic Equestrian Association which celebrates its 10th year with this show season with over 5,000 riders competing nationwide, is based on the college riding model. Teams of student-riders compete in equitation, both on the flat and over fences, on unfamiliar horses that are randomly assigned.
The IEA promotes the idea of making competitive riding available to all riders regardless of whether or not they have the opportunity to own or lease their own horse. Riders, because they are riding unfamiliar horses, typically show at a lower height than they would on their own. Classes are divided by rider age and ability and range from Open Varsity 2’6” to Exhibition walk, trot. Riders are permitted to compete in only 5 shows over the course of the season and must garner enough points either as an individual or a team in order to qualify for Regionals.
Echo Farm began their season this year with reserve championships wins for both the middle school and high school teams on October 20th at Top of the Line Stables in Chestnut Ridge, New York. Two weeks later at home on November 4th, the middle school team captured the championship spot and the high school team took 3rd. On January 20th the team traveled to Manchester, New Jersey to compete at Chariot Riders where the high school team garnered the championship ribbon and the middle school brought in the reserve champion. Also honored at that show was 6th grader Natalie Babon who was awarded the Sportsmanship medal. The sportsmanship award is given to the rider who during the course of the show and competition best demonstrates the true meaning of sportsmanship.
In their biggest show of the season, on January 27th, Echo Farm traveled to Fox Crossing Equestrian in Morris Connecticut. Competing against 400 other riders, the teams each brought home a hard won 6th place overall. And in the final show of the season, Echo riders won big at home with the middle school winning championship to quality for Regionals and the high school team securing their spot with a reserve championship win. 6th grader Christen Ferrera was also awarded the sportsmanship award for her participation in the show. “Having two riders awarded the sportsmanship award over the course of the season is a real testament to the spirit of this team,” responded one parent.
In addition to both the middle school and high school team gaining enough points to compete in the March 2,3rd show, Echo Farm also qualified over half of their riders for individual classes at Regionals. High school age riders are: Margaret Hall, Kate Harckham, Helen Ianitti, Ayden Schattman, Hannah Sfreddo and Cheryl Wickizer. Competing as middle schoolers are: Natalie Babon, Allison Bauer, Caroline DeVincenzo, Christen Ferrara and Hannah November.
Coach Callie Bauer is more than proud of the accomplishment of her riders. The team began as an experiment in 2011 and has doubled in size this year, "Our team has improved vastly over the course of this season. I am so proud of each and every one of these girls! They have endured early mornings, tough competitions and grueling days all for the love of horses."
The Echo Farm IEA Show Team is based out of the Echo Farm Stables on Spring Street in South Salem. The show season runs from September until Mid February and is open to riders in middle school through high school. For more information contact: Callie Bauer at: 914-763-5742.