Fairfield, CT (August 11, 2016) In 2015, when Morgan Sykes (University of Central Florida ’15) accepted the EquestrianCoach.com Western Achievement of Excellence Award at that year’s IHSA National Championships, he told Bernie Traurig how he’d like his future within the sport to “include involvement with Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association alumni.”
“IHSA has given so much to me as an undergrad,” Sykes said. “I owe it to them to be a responsible owner, competitor and ambassador for our sport.” That promise of involvement now includes an official announcement by the IHSA national board that Morgan Sykes has been named its first Student Leadership Initiative Liaison.
“This is the first year of a two-year trial period, so this is an initial ‘start-up’ procedure. Once student representatives have been determined by each Zone for this year, the group will be charged with determining a more formal election process to be presented to the IHSA board for approval,” said Ed Federwisch (Savannah College of Art & Design/SCAD), who has been appointed IHSA Board Mentor for Sykes for the first year.
Graduating UCF with a degree in Hospitality Management, Sykes will drive the creation and establishment of a program of communication between the IHSA board of directors and college riders identified as IHSA Student Leadership Initiative Representatives. “The goal is to allow a transfer of ideas and concepts between both groups,” he said. Sykes will act as contact between the IHSA board of directors and appointed/elected hunt seat and Western student rider representatives from the eight IHSA Zones. Student representatives will be required to have at least two years IHSA competition experience and at junior/senior status (18 years of age or older) at their school. One hunt seat and one Western student representative will be invited to participate in the IHSA Winter Board of Directors Meeting through webinar technology.
Sykes interned after graduation with NRHA legend Tim McQuay as part of his Western Achievement of Excellence Award and was the 2012 NRHA Reserve Youth World Champion and made Top 10 at the 2014 IHSA Nationals and 2013 NRHA Collegiate Challenge.
IHSA promotes competition for full time student riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional to national levels based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of financial status, gender or riding level. In 2017 IHSA celebrates the Golden 50th Anniversary of its founding in 1967 by Fairleigh-Dickinson University sophomore Robert E. ‘Bob’ Cacchione and today serves more than 400 member institutions and 10,000 riders annually. Visit www.ihsainc.com
and follow IHSA on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about its teams, scholarships and alumni riding program.