Delaware Valley College IHSA Coach Presents $8,000 Merit Scholarship to High School Winner Skylar Laakso

December 19th, 2013 1:06 PM | No Comments

Press release

Katie and Skylar. Photo courtesy of IHSA

Congratulations Skylar! Photo courtesy of IHSA

Fairfield, CT (December 18, 2013) Delaware Valley (DelVal) College IHSA hunter seat equestrian team coach Cory Herald Kieschnick had the honor of presenting the school’s inaugural $8,000 merit scholarship to Skylar Laakso, a high school senior from Boston, MA, who won the ETS (Equestrian Talent Search) Medal on December 7 during the Tournament of Champions show hosted by the IHSA member institution.

“The scholarship is reflective of DelVal’s commitment to both academic and extracurricular excellence,” said Kieschnick, who is an Instructor in the Equine Studies Department and has been advisor and head coach to the DelVal hunt seat IHSA team since 2002. DelVal’s 2003-2004 hunt seat team finished first in the region for the first time since 1994, and Kieschnick has been named IHSA Zone 3 Region 2 Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006, 2009 and 2010. Her 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010 teams earned Reserve High Point team in Zone 3 and qualified to represent the college at IHSA Nationals, where her 2010 team placed fifth overall. She also coached the winning team at the 2009 Holiday Tournament of Champions and had the Reserve Championship team at the 2010 Winter Tournament of Champions, earning the overall Reserve Champion team title for the 2009-2010 Tournament series.

Laakso competed against 19 other riders, with 10 called back for the second phase and four qualifying for the final ride-off. Her scholarship is for the 2014-2015 academic year at DelVal. Since it is renewable annually, Laakso essentially won a merit award worth $32,000.

High school winners of the Equestrian Talent Search (ETS) Medal at the Tournament of Champions will now get more than just an award: They will also get a substantial college scholarship. Delaware Valley College has committed to offering this $8,000 merit scholarship, renewable annually, to each winner of the ETS Medal class.

To receive the merit scholarship, ETS medal winners must be seniors in good academic standing. They also have to apply, be accepted and enroll at DelVal before the academic year in order to qualify for the scholarship.

Students are eligible for one academic merit scholarship. A student will be granted the highest of any offered merit scholarship.

Winners are invited to visit the campus to experience DelVal as a student would. They are given a chance to meet with the IHSA equestrian team, sit in on a class, practice with the IHSA equestrian team and meet a faculty member and coach.

Delaware Valley College will be offering the same scholarship to all ETS Medal winners in the future. For upcoming events and entry information please visit:

About Delaware Valley College

Delaware Valley College is an independent, multi-disciplinary college with property in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Founded in 1896, it features individualized attention, small class sizes and an applied as well as theoretical approach to learning. The College offers rich programs in the sciences, as well as a variety of programs in business and the humanities, offering more than 25 undergraduate majors, five master’s programs and a variety of complementary adult education courses.

About IHSA

IHSA promotes competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional and national levels, 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. Learn more about its scholarships, internships and other membership bonuses at and follow its more than 400 teams and 8,900 riders on Facebook and Twitter at @IHSAinc.

Leave a Reply