Top 8 IHSA Students Picked to Join Top 8 NCEA Students in the AQHA Collegiate Challenge at the AQHA World Show

June 13th, 2013 8:30 AM | 1 Comment

Austin Griffith during the IHSA Nationals High Point Rider. Photo by Rich Ormanowski/courtesy of IHSA

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association is pleased to announce the eight IHSA Western Horsemanship riders selected to participate in the 2013 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsemanship Challenge, November 20-21, during the AQHA Amateur World Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

This will be the second Challenge of its kind, with the inaugural event held last year, won by Texas A&M. 8 IHSA competitors and 8 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) members will face off against each other on unfamiliar Quarter Horses provided by gracious owners. The competitors are afforded four minutes of warm-up time before they ride for the Challenge championship. Portions of the event include horsemanship pattern as well as rail work.

The complete list of IHSA riders selected for the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge is as follows:

Julia Roberts, West Texas A&M University

Austin Griffith, The Ohio State University

Doublas Mohr, Ball State University

Emily Honey, Oregon State University

Alissa Frederick, Black Hawk College

Rebecca Strunk, Clemson University

Ashley Winters, The University of Findlay

Kodi Anderson, North Central Texas College

Douglas from Ball State

“Ever since hearing of the AQHA Collegiate Challenge, it’s been a dream to be selected and represent my university, and now that dream is a reality. It’s a huge honor to be one of eight IHSA riders picked, and I am very grateful. To be surrounded by the best collegiate riders will be a humbling and rewarding experience,” says Douglas Mohr, of Ball State University who just graduated with a bachelors in Exercise Science and will be getting his masters in Occupational Therapy. “I can’t wait to head to Oklahoma.”

Added Rebecca Strunk, “I was honestly shocked to be invited to this prestigious event. It makes all the long hours of practice worth it. It’s an honor to be able to represent Clemson University and hope to do so to the best of my abilities.”

The IHSA riders selected include the recent IHSA National Championships’ 2013 AQHA High Point Rider (Austin Griffith, The Ohio State University) and reserve AQHA High Point Rider (Ashley Winters, The University of Findlay), and a member of the 2013 IHSA National Championships High Point Western Team, Julia Roberts of West Texas A&M University.

 “I have had to work very hard to achieve the things that I have done in the IHSA,” says Austin Griffith of his accomplishments, a business marketing major. Austin is the first student to win AQHA High Point Rider two years in a row.

Ashley with her Findlay coaches after winning Reserve High Point Rider

“I was so excited when I received the invitation to the AQHA Collegiate Challenge! I have worked really hard over the season, practicing about five times a week for reining and horsemanship,” exclaims Ashley Winters, who has just finished her freshmen year as a Environmantal, Safety and Occupational Health major and Western Equestrian Studies student at The University of Findlay.  “During the show season I had lost my AQHA show horse to cancer. This was an extremely hard time for me and the only way to help cope was to keep riding. I knew the open level was going to be really tough and I wanted to get better every day. The University of Findlay IHSA Team has wonderful coaches that are really great to work with both inside and outside the show pen. They all coach from different perspectives and are very knowledgeable. At Nationals, a bit of their advice was to go out there and show them what a freshman can do.” And now she gets to show everyone else what a freshmen can do!

 The eight collegiate equestrian athletes representing their educational institutions in the Challenge were selected based on their 2012-13 individual statistics for horsemanship. Preliminary AQHA Horsemanship Challenge competition will take place Wednesday, November 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge finals will be held the evening of November 21.Three IHSA alternates have also been identified, pending availability of the original eight candidates.

Learn more about IHSA riders and teams at


One Response to “Top 8 IHSA Students Picked to Join Top 8 NCEA Students in the AQHA Collegiate Challenge at the AQHA World Show”

  1. Wishing my nephew, Austin Griffith all the best. So proud of him:-)

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