Shady spots were in demand at the tenth annual Alumni Tournament of Champions held in Gladstone, New Jersey on June 6th. University of Maryland and American University head coach Star Dailey had several riders (some of whom went to schools other than the two mentioned) entered, including Katie Snyder. A 2014 graduate of Wilson College, Snyder is seen here holding a blue ribbon while sitting in front of Dailey (in hat). The fully-dressed rider sitting next to Dailey is former Hollins University rider Catherine Hensly, who went on to place second in the Alumni Cup. Snyder had won her blue ribbon in 2'3" fences but would win another one in alumni flat later in the day.


Gladstone, NJ - If you are in the horse industry the word "Gladstone" means only one thing: The headquarters for the United States Equestrian Team. And on June 6 there was a horse show there.

Hamilton Farm is the proper name for the acreage that makes up the USET complex, where many a rider trained in hopes of a spot on the USA Olympic team. Some made the team. Many more saw their hopes dashed. The most famous trainers of the 20th century who became Chef d'Equipe of the USET had to make the cuts as to who went to the olympics and who did not on these very grounds (Editor's note: For almost two decades now the USET holds their olympic trials in Lexington but still maintains offices in Gladstone).

According to IHSA Founder Emeritus Bob Cacchione (who was in attendance on June 6) the 2021 Alumni Tournament of Champions marked the first time an event with an IHSA connection had taken place at the USET headquarters. Lena Andrews Licata, who along with Jamie Windle organizes these alumni-only competitions, wanted to hold the tenth annual event someplace special. Licata contacted the USET and was able to secure the first Sunday in June. Originally to be a hunter seat-only show, with the eighth annual Western Alumni Tournament of Champions to take place elsewhere but on the same day, it came to pass that both the English and the Western competitions would be held on the same day but at the USET together.

Perhaps because of the location and also due to the pandemic putting a halt to IHSA shows in most locations during the 2020-21 season the number of riders entered was over 100, an all-time high for these events. Many riders from parts of the U.S. where there were no regular season shows were 'horse-show-starved' and thus were overjoyed to be entered. The show started at 8:23AM while the last class was pinned at 8:01PM, which also made it the longest ATOC event in time in event history. Mother nature equally cursed and blessed the event, with sunny skies but temperatures quickly rising into the low '90's.

Yet in spite of the length and the heat this was the fastest eleven-hour horse show this writer recalls (prior to the pandemic this writer usually saw over 30 IHSA shows a year going back to the late 1990's).

The largest turnout for an ATOC event to date brought with it some firsts, including the first former Harvard University rider to show in the event. 1994 Harvard graduate Anne Carman May (center) posed with her daughter Caroline and "Artie," the latter of which helped May to fifth place in the 2'3" fences division.

To get personal and speak in the first person I was looking forward to this show not only to see an event at the USET for the first time but because instead of seeing 30-plus shows in 2020-21 I saw only one, the regular or traditional Tournament of Champions event on May 1st. I know I am not the only person with an interest in the IHSA who suffers from horse show withdrawl. But when a show finally comes along it continues setting a precident that if local and state health guidelines are observed then perhaps things can step-by-step return to normal.

The first rider into the ring at 8:23AM was Dr. Emily Weis, who was Emily Unger when she showed for Stonehill College in the late 1990's. (Editor's Note: Licata said that if they could start early they would, and by seven minutes this proved to be true). Dr. Weis was the first of 24 riders to show in 2'6" fences, and while she did not place in this class Weis would fair better in the alumni flat later in the day.

While I wish I could mention every rider who showed in every class this is simply too time consuming so for the remainder of this story I will say something about each rider who placed first and the reserve champions. It should be noted that in 2'6" fences judge Michael Dowling called back four riders to test though the class was placed from first through sixth (with the results announced in reverse order). 2018 Penn State University graduate Lydia Drabik - who rode in Zone 3, Region 5 as an alumni in 2019-20 instead of her undergraduate region of Zone 3, Region 1 - was the reserve champion. Tara Mathews, who was Tara Lynch as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut in the latter half of the 2K decade (2000-09), won the 2'6" fences to the surprise of very few. Mathews has been the most dominant alumni rider at both IHSA competitions and these ATOC events over the past four years. At 2019 IHSA Nationals Mathews made history to become the first rider to win both an alumni hunter seat and an alumni western class not only at the same Nationals event but 'ever' when you check the record books. Mathews won three of the four alumni classes at 2019 Nationals (she was not entered in alumni reining) and was the 2017 ATOC Alumni Cup winner. Mathews had since won some individual ATOC classes as well and had several more rides still to come on this day.

There may not have been an emergency room at the USET but there most definitely were a few emergency room doctors on the premises. From left to right are former Tufts University riders Jennifer Keates-Baleeiro, Stephanie Ortega and former George Washington University rider Jessica Maye. "We've seen it all," said Maye, referring to patients who enter their workplace in need of immediate attention. Maye, who was Jessica Smolar as an undergraduate, was fourth in reunion flat.

The Reunion Fences division followed 2'6". Normally the Reunion divisions are for riders who did not show in a regular-season IHSA Alumni Class during the previous school year, but with so few regions actually holding competitions during the 2020-21 season there wasn't much difference between being entered in this division and the 2'6" fences. Licata pointed out to me that reunion fences was the first class to be 'sold out' the day registration for the 2021 ATOC went live. Apparently the morning that riders were first able to register the Reunion Fences had more than 25 riders trying to sign up for it during the first hour. Due to the number of horses available and the amount of hours in a day Licata limited the number of entries in the division to 25. As was the case with the first class Dowling called back four riders to test. Alexis Ballance, who was Alexis Wirth when she rode for Kutztown University between 2008 and 2012, provided some of the horses at today's show. Ballance, who had gone 20th in the order of go was second to the rider who had gone eighth. That rider is Jen Conway, a 2010 graduate of Gettysburg College. In checking some old Campus Equestrian regional qualifier's lists for Zone 3, Region 1 it showed Conway qualified for 2009 Regionals in intermediate flat and 2010 Regionals in intermediate fences. This time Conway placed ahead of at least one former Cacchione Cup qualifier and one ATOC Alumni Cup winner.

The over fences phases of the Alumni Cup, the Future Alumni Cup and the first-ever 'Founder's Battle' came next, with no results announced since the flat phase and any call-backs are necessary to complete these divisions. However one more jumping class was placed before any flat classes were held. The 2'3" Fences was also made up of 25 riders, including 2017 West Chester University graduate Katie Diaz. Diaz had earned a top six placing in at least one class at each of the alumni tournaments she had entered since graduating and 2021 proved no different. Diaz was the reserve champion. Riders who were undergraduates in Zone 3, Region 1 made it back-to-back blue ribbons on June 6th as 2014 Wilson College graduate Katie Snyder was the 2'3" champion. A member of the Snyder family mentioned that Katie Snyder grew up riding rescue horses. It would turn out that the former rescue horse rider was not done for the day in taking home blue ribbons.

From left to right should be Andrea LaManque (who went to Morrisville State), Rebecca Folk (went to Lafayette), Joanne Coniglio (went to Delaware Valley), Veronica Tennariello (Montclair State), Rachel VanDemark (Rutgers) and Eleanor Harowicz (Moravian). But that's not really Joanne Conniglio holding the red ribbon! Conniglio was MIA when it was time for the first-ever Ranch Riding class to be pinned at an ATOC event. The other five riders are the real ribbon-winners, with Tennariello having changed out of her western outfit due to the high temperatures while VanDemark was about to compete in an alumni flat class and therefore was dressed in english apparel for this photo. Stand-ins are common for ATOC winner's circle photos, most often due to a rider competing in another class at the time of the photo. Tennariello, who was riding in an IHSA-related event for the first time in 37 years, won ranch riding without having ever shown western at a regular-season IHSA event.

While all of the classes up to this point had taken place in the USET's 'Gladstone Main Ring' outdoors on the same level as the building which houses the USET offices and stables there would soon be two rings in action simultaneously. Down a ramp beside the Gladstone Main Ring was a separate indoor, known as 'The Indoor Ring!' Following a break which included the 'Senior Celebration' (during which 2020-21 college seniors were announced and presented with roses) and the removal of the jumps from the main ring the Reining Phase of the Alumni Cup would commence in the main ring while heat number one of Reunion Flat would commence in the indoor. Due to the metal roof on the indoor the temperature inside was probably over 110 degrees which made the flat classes that much more of an endurance test.

With no results to be announced after the reining phase of the alumni cup Ranch Riding would follow and become the first western class to be pinned at the USET. This was also the first time a Ranch Riding class was held at an ATOC event, as the IHSA only introduced the division into regular season shows in 2020-21. According to Tammy Cranouski, the former Westfield State University rider who today is the IHSA Alumni Director and on June 6th showed in both Western and English classes, the Ranch Riding division is eligible to be held as an alumni class at regular season IHSA western shows (at the discretion of a given region). However at this time alumni ranch riding will only extend into the post-season as far a Regionals event (there will be no alumni ranch classes at 2022 Semifinals or Nationals, though Cranouski hopes this changes in the next few seasons). For undergraduates those in Ranch Riding can point up into the Open Reining division at a regular IHSA show. At the moment the only Western Alumni Division that will take place at either a Semifinal or Nationals IHSA event is Alumni Western Horsemanship.

Though Alumni Ranch Riding had no history within ATOC events sixteen riders competed in the division on June 6th, making this the largest western class of the day! And after all sixteen had taken their turn in the ring in front of judge Kelli Marie Wainscott the winner turned out to be a rider who had not shown in any event with an IHSA connection since she graduated in 1984! Veronica Tennariello, a graduate of Montclair State University (which has not fielded an IHSA team since 1999), won the inaugural Ranch Riding class. It is worth noting that 'Region 1' (today known as IHSA Zone 3, Region 3) did not hold western classes as best as I can tell during 1980-84 which means both today's Ranch champion and the runner-up did not show western at IHSA-related events until after they graduated. Joanne Coniglio, who was Joanne Stagliano as an undergraduate at Delaware Valley College (now Delaware Valley University) when she graduated in 1994, went on to coach the Delaware Valley western team for many years while also riding western in the Alumni Divisions at IHSA regular season shows. Coniglio, who helped bring Western to Zone 3, Region 2 in mid-1998, was the reserve champion in Ranch Riding today.

After having not competed in the 2020 ATOC former Virginia Intermont College rider Ashton Phillips was entered as usual in Advanced Flat. Phillips (on left) is seen here with his former student Sandra Sayre, a 1994 Drew University graduate who ironically sponsors the 'Alumni Flat' division which is the level below advanced flat. Phillips won the Advanced Flat for the first time. Sayre was greatly appreciated by all for handing out complimentary popsicles during the afternoon.

The Alumni Reining division was next and though only five riders were entered two did not receive ribbons (for going off pattern to the best of my knowledge. And since only three riders placed I will mention each). Two former Kutztown University riders, Rachael Harze and Jess Benner, were second and third, respectively. Former Morrisville State College rider Andrea LaManque has shown alumni in IHSA regular season shows for over a decade and has been a regular at ATOC Western Events as well. LaManque has also been instrumental in running the Western ATOC when it takes place in Ohio and Michigan. On June 6th LaManque won the blue ribbon in Alumni Reining, which appears to be her first time winning this division at an ATOC event. It should be noted that when Zone 2, Region 3 holds regular season western alumni classes this region usually does not hold Alumni Reining, which makes LaManque's appearance in this division at an ATOC a rarity.

Ten riders were entered in the Advanced Horsemanship class that followed. Because nearly all of the western classes were placed after multiple western classes were held this made for some interesting photos of the top six or top eight ribbon-winners. Many of the riders who showed Western also entered one of the alumni flat classes, meaning these riders needed time to change from western apparel into a hunter seat outfit or vice-versa. As a result a few western riders were either absent from the group photos during the ribbon presentations or were dressed in english apparel while the other ribbon-winning riders were dressed in western. 2008 Moravian College graduate Eleanor Harowicz had a great day in the western classes, earning at least a fifth in each of her three appearances that required some loping. Harowicz was the reserve champion in advanced horsemanship, and since she was waiting to ride in one of the advanced flat heats she was photographed in her helmet, britches and tall boots in all but one of the photos of western ribbon ceremonies. 2011 University of Delaware graduate Shilpa Deshpande edged out Harowicz for the blue ribbon in advanced. Desphande, whose younger sister rode for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst a decade ago, would not be the only UDel graduate to earn a blue ribbon on this day.

There were 13 riders entered in Alumni Horsemanship making it the second largest class after ranch riding. Bloomsburg University graduate Amanda Tucker had been out of the ribbons in the ranch class but in Alumni Horsemanship she placed second overall. By total coincidence James Hobbie was a teammate at the University of Delaware with Desphande, and they both graduated in 2011. Hobbie made it two straight for the former Fighting Hens as he prevailed in alumni horsemanship. Hobbie was also entered in reunion flat but it is not clear if he was able to ride in that division due to the possibility of the two classes overlapping. Hobbie was dressed in western apparel for the presentation of the alumni horsemanship ribbons, so if this was his only ride of the day it made him one of very few to go undefeated on June 6th.

From left to right are Victoria Behm (formerly of Delaware Valley), Megan Gennings (formerly of UMass-Amherst), Amanda Golembeski (also former UMass-Amherst), Taylor Day (Ohio State), Rebecca Folk (Lafayette) and Kendra Clarke (Delaware Valley). The class was Advanced Reining and there was a cooler at stake. Day won the class and the cooler, and the former Buckeye could also claim to be the only rider from a school located in the midwest to leave the USET with a blue ribbon.

Perhaps because this year's Western alumni classes were held in the Northeast there were fewer riders from outside that part of the country entered on June 6th. Only three of the ten western riders from the 2020 Western Alumni Tournament in Coleman, Michigan made the trip to Gladstone in 2021. One of the three is former Ohio State University rider Taylor Day, who was one of seven riders entered in Advanced Reining. In 2020 Day was fifth out of five in the division. However Day would become the proverbial "from worst to first" rider by taking home the Advanced Reining blue ribbon in 2021. The runner-up was 2013 Lafayette College graduate Rebecca Folk, who was not done for the day as far as awards ceremonies go.

The final western class of the day to be placed was the prestigious Western Alumni Cup. The two-phased reining and rail division was made up of six entries, including Day and Harowicz. Alumni director Cranouski, who was Tammy Curtis when she graduated from Westfield State in 2004, was the reserve champion. Folk made ATOC history with her Champion ribbon in the Western Cup class. Prior to today's show none of the previous seven winners had repeated as champion. Kimberly King (now Kimberly Storey) of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville won the inaugural Western Alumni Cup in 2014. Caitlin Arthur (in 2015) and Michelle Ivan (in 2016) both went to Saginaw Valley State University and captured the Cup in the years mentioned. Michelle McDowell of Grand Valley State University prevailed in 2018, making it three Cups for riders who went to schools located in Michigan and two Cups for riders named Michelle up to that point. 2019 Ohio State University graduate Catherine Lach won it in 2019 (unusually since there was a future alumni cup class that year which is normally where riders who just graduated are entered) while Marina Nadobny made it three former Saginaw Valley State riders to win the Western Alumni Cup with her blue ribbon in 2020. Unless I am mistaken Folk was making her first appearance in a ATOC western class since 2017, which was also the last time the Western classes were held in New Jersey and also the last time both English and Western were held at the same location on the same day. But there is no doubt that Folk won the 2017 Western Alumni Cup which makes her the first rider in ATOC history to repeat as champion in this division. The former Lafayette Leopard - who as a junior was given the annual Zone 3, Region 4 sportsmanship award - was instrumental in starting up the western team at the Easton, Pennsylvania school roughly 12 years ago. This concluded the western portion of the 2021 ATOC and I hope that in two years the tenth anniversary of the first Western ATOC is given the same fanfare as the hunter seat was given at today's competition.

The USET Headquarters is one of the most iconic equestrian locations in american history, and the building which houses the offices and the stalls is behind the riders in each awards presentation. From left to right are Day, Gennings, Tammy Cranouski (formerly of Westfield State), Folk, Harowicz (who had to be ready for an alumni flat class starting soon) and Behm, each of who had competed in the two-phased Western Alumni Cup division. Folk rode four times, never placing lower than fifth and winning the Western Alumni Cup (and like Day she too received a cooler). A 2013 graduate of Lafayette College, Folk was the first rider at today's event to set a new high bar. Folk is now the only western rider to win the Alumni Cup more than once, having also achieved the feat in 2017.

Following the conclusion of the Western Awards six different alumni flat finals took place in the Gladstone Main Ring (it is possible some of these flat finals took place during a few of the western awards ceremonies). Eventually it was time to pin the Advanced Flat division, which was made up of 23 riders. A pair of old pros took home the top two ribbons, with Mathews earning a rare red ribbon and her only non-blue at today's show. The only rider all day to go head-to-head with Mathews and finish ahead was 1989 Virginia Intermont College graduate Ashton Phillips. The long-time head coach of both the Princeton University and New York University equestrian teams won the advanced flat, which made him undefeated for the day as this was his only appearance (Phillips has not competed in the over fences divisions at any horse show in over a decade). Phillips is known for having shown in the most IHSA classes in the history of the organization, having shown alumni better than 20 seasons in addition to his undergraduate rides and post-season appearances. Though today's blue ribbon was his first in the ten-year history of the alumni tournament Phillips will not go into the record books as the oldest rider ever to win a class at such an event. Tennariello graduated a few years ahead of him as did Sandy Rose, a friend of Tennariello's who rode for the College of St. Elizabeth (class of 1984) and won the reunion flat in 2017.

Advanced flat was followed by the Alumni Flat. It should be noted that Dowling called back six riders to test in each of the flat classes, and save for the Cup classes and the Founder's Battle the results of the flat classes were pinned sixth through first. Dr. Weis, who started the show over nine hours earlier with her jumping round, was the reserve champion in alumni flat (second out of 23 entries). Snyder won her second blue ribbon of the day, making the former Wilson rider one of only two riders to compete on June 6th and win more than one blue ribbon.

I must preface the results of the next two classes by first saying that Marist College in Zone 3, Region 3 had some memorable seasons from 2016 through 2020. Red Foxes head coach Clare Knapp had a very deep class of 2020, and as a result Marist often stayed neck-and-neck with Centenary University for the lead in Region 3 until the Cyclones opened up room in the spring to extend their streak of region titles which runs all the way back to 1990. Centenary has it's own facility while Marist is a club team, which goes a long way in showing how significant Marist's success has been in this time span (it should also be noted that judge Dowling is also the co-coach at Centenary, where he saw the Marist riders keep their team in the running while pushing his team to be their best).

The next division to be placed was the Future Alumni Cup, made up of eleven riders who were either members of the classes of 2020 or 2021. Two of the eleven were from Marist, and each took home the top two ribbons. Sarah Levi (the reserve champion) and Mia Fellin (the blue ribbon winner in future alumni) were both members of the Marist class of '20. Levi finished inside the top ten of the Region 3 open rider standings all four years while Fellin moved up from the old novice levels (known today as the limit levels) to finish in the top five in the Region 3 open rider standings her junior and senior years.

The Marist entourage also includes a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology named Lindsay Voak, who trains at Crosswinds Equestrian Center in LaGrangeville, New York which is Knapp's home base. Voak was not the only rider familiar to Crosswinds in the class which followed, the Reunion Flat. The largest class of the day with 30 riders entered included 2020 Marist graduate Shayna Fielding, who previously qualified for Regionals once. In 2018 Fielding pointed out of advanced walk-trot-canter (today known as novice). Once again the Crosswinds or Knapp riders took home the top honors, with Fielding placing second and Voak first. Since the first ATOC in July of 2012 no one facility could boast that riders from their barn had done this well in back-to-back classes. I regret that I cannot seem to pinpoint when Voak graduated from RIT; Voak definitely rode in the 2017 ATOC with Knapp on hand to offer suggestions.

The tenth edition of the Hunter Seat Alumni Cup featured two former Cup winners in the top ten. From left to right are ATOC co-founder Jamie Windle, Maria McCloskey (formerly of Kutztown University), Harowicz, Emily Cornell (formerly of Delaware Valley), Hensly, Tara Mathews (formerly of UConn), Kayleigh Burke (Virginia Tech), Jacqueline Minto (Long Island University, when it was still LIU-Post University), Alexandra Bishop (Lafayette) and ATOC co-founder Lena Andrews Licata. Burke, the 2018 and 2019 winner, was seeking her third win but instead Mathews won to move into a tie with Burke at two Alumni Cup wins apiece. Mathews, who had already won 2'6" fences earlier in the day, previously won the Cup in 2017.

Normally the Hunter Seat Alumni Cup is the final class to be pinned at an ATOC event but this was not the case this year due to the first-ever Founder's Battle (The call-back phase of the Alumni Cup was the final class that actually rode on horses at today's event). Of the 18 riders entered in the HS Alumni Cup in 2020 16 went to schools in the Northeastern United States. However it turned out the reserve champion Catherine Hensly was one of the two from elsewhere. The 2014 graduate of Hollins University survived the jumping phase, the indoor flat phase and the callback to place second behind Mathews, who won the Alumni Cup for the second time in four years (five events). Could Mathews win a third blue ribbon today at the USET?

The 2009 University of Connecticut graduate won the Hunter Seat Alumni Cup in 2017 to gain entry into the Founder's Battle, matching up each of the previous eight winners in the Alumni Cup for what may be a once-in-a-decade division. All eight riders jumped and later flatted in the outdoor (no callback phase). Shortly before 8:00PM it was finally time to pin the last class of the day (though the flat phase had actually been the third-to-last group of riders in the ring). It is hard for me to believe but I saw all eight of these riders compete as undergraduates and four of them coach in the IHSA as well (and kudos to all eight for participating. I was concered that not all the previous winners would be able to compete due to life getting in the way, but it happened!). I can't help but mention all eight of them and not just the top two. The class is simply that important. Eighth place went to 2016 cup winner and former Temple University rider Bianca DeStefano, who was Bianca Lupo as an undergraduate. In seventh place is Megan Mendenhall, the 2015 cup winner and the only member of the Founder's Battle to have graduated in the 20th century (in 1999). A long-time alumni rider in regular season IHSA shows, Mendenhall went to Wilson and coached her Alma Matter for several years in the teens. Sixth place went to Allyson Villareale, who was Allie Brink when she graduated from Delaware Valley College (now University) in 2015. Brink won last year's cup in what was the only horse show of any kind I saw for 13 months. Fifth place went to Amy Kriwitsky, a former teammate of Mathews at the University of Connecticut and the cup winner at the very first ATOC held on the campus of Valley Forge Military College in Wayne, Pennsylvania in 2012. Kriwitsky is now the head coach at Trinity College (CT), making her the only active IHSA coach to compete in the Founder's Battle. Riders from Connecticut Schools have done well in the cup classes at ATOC's, and the rider in fourth place is the only one from the constitution state not to have attended UConn. Heather Johnson attended Post University (in part when it was still known as Teikyo Post University) and won the 2013 cup at what was the first of two ATOC events in a row held at Centenary University's facility. Johnson coached her alma matter for awhile and today is an instructor at Lee's Riding Stable, which is her mother's facility. Third place went to another former IHSA coach in Sara McCoy. The 2014 cup winner graduated from the University of Delaware and went on to coach both Villanova and Valley Forge Military College. The site of the first ATOC was in fact where McCoy based both of her teams at one point. The reserve champion entered the day as the only rider to win the alumni cup twice. Former Virginia Tech rider Kayleigh Burke won the cup in both 2018 and 2019, becoming the first (and so far only) rider from a southern school to win the Cup. There had been some drama waiting to find out if Burke or Mathews was second, for the two have been the most dominant riders at the previous four ATOC events. With Burke's name the first one heard over the loudspeakers Mathews made history as not only the winner of what will hopefully be one of many Founder's Battles to come but also the first rider to win three blue ribbons at the same ATOC event. Mathews and Burke are now tied with two alumni cups each. This was just the latest chapter in Mathews' phenomenal run in the alumni divisions dating back to her second place ribbon in Alumni Flat at 2010 Nationals her first school year out of college. She deserves to be mentioned in the same conversation as Ashton Phillips and Sandra Sayre, who sponsored the alumni flat at today's show and who is still the rider with the most alumni blue ribbons awarded at IHSA Nationals events.

The founders switched sides for the Founder's Battle photo! From left to right are Andrews Licata, Bianca DeStefano (who was Bianca Lupo as an undergraduate at Temple University), Allyson Villareale (who was Allyson Brink as an undergraduate at Delaware Valley), Heather Johnson (formerly of Post University, when it was known as Teikyo Post at least when Johnson started there), Mathews, Sara McCoy (a former University of Delaware rider who won the 2014 Alumni Cup under her then-married name of Sara Palmer), Amy Kriwitsky (formerly of the University of Connecticut), Megan Mendenhall (formerly of Wilson College) and Windle. The class that was designed to gather together the previous eight Alumni Cup winners was won by Mathews, but thanks go to all just for being able to fit the show into their busy schedules. We will have to check the record books but Mathews now may have more blue ribbons - all classes combined - of anyone who has competed in ATOC events since their inception in 2012.

Here comes the sun: I have to put in a great not good word for Mason Garrity who was the public address announcer at today's show. Garrity is also responsible for the music that is played during the Alumni Tournaments, and his knowledge of music and his professionalism make him the best option behind the mike for horse shows of any kind save for only the legendary Kenn Marash (who has been the voice of IHSA Nationals for most of the century as well as such shows as Maclay Finals and the Washington International Horse Show). Garrity showed his sense of humor and knowledge of music simultaneously when tempertures started to rise. On one end of the Gladstone Main Ring (away from the picturesque building seen in some of the photos) trees provided considerable shade from the sun when the show started. As the temperatures rose Garrity played such songs as Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On" from the 1980's and Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun In The Summertime" from the 1960's. One song he did not play but I would have (which is why I am not the announcer or the DJ) is the Rolling Stones' 1966 hit "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow?" For as the morning wore on the shadows shifted. The area at the far end of the ring was continually exposed to more and more sunshine, and those who had put down quad chairs or were horseholding kept moving further and further to one side. Eventually that entire end of the arena was in direct sunlight and everyone that had been there scattered to other locations, save for those who had a tent set up in the furthermost corner and were not affected. During the afternoon the bleechers that ran the length of the Gladstone ring (set up only on one side) went from being the place to avoid to being the go-to spot where the shade now fell. Places to cool off during the tenth annual ATOC were in demand most of the day, as was the "Hydration Station" that had been set up to keep everyone hydrated.

They both know something about coaching: Wainscott, like Dowling, is also an IHSA coach. Today's western judge has been the western head coach at Mount Holyoke College for over a decade now. This year's ATOC marked the first time both judges the same calendar year (taking into account the hunter seat and western ATOC events are not always in the same place or on the same day) were also active IHSA coaches.

The last word from the co-founder: Lena Andrews Licata, a former Lehigh University rider and Jamie Windle, a former Delaware Valley College rider co-founded the ATOC series a decade ago and were heavily involved in putting on today's event. I e-mailed Andrews Licata to get her final thoughts on the tenth ATOC three days after it happened.

"It was our biggest show and a fantastic way to celebrate 10 years," said Andrews Licata. "It was almost surreal to host there (at the USET) and I wish the show had continued to go as smooth as it did during fences because the pace was so enjoyable. My only regret is forgetting the group photo."

--Steve Maxwell

The Class-By-Class Results, listed in the order in which they were placed. The hunter seat judge was Michael Dowling. The western judge was Kelli Marie Wainscott. Start Time: 8:23AM. Finish: 8:01PM.

2'6" Fences. 1. Tara Mathews, University of Connecticut. 2. Lydia Drabik, Penn State University (State College). 3. Emily Cornell, Delaware Valley University. 4. Allyson Villareale, Delaware Valley University. 5. Kayleigh Burke, Virginia Tech. 6. Constance Chave, Cazenovia College.

Reunion Fences. 1. Jen Conway, Gettysburg College. 2. Alexis Ballance, Kutztown University. 3. Alexis Kupic, Seton Hill University. 4. Maureen Michelson, University of California at Santa Cruz. 5. Katie Sparkman, Tufts University. 6. Crystal Grayson, Tulane University.

2'3" Fences. 1. Katie Snyder, Wilson College. 2. Katie Diaz, West Chester University. 3. Rachel VanDemark, Rutgers University. 4. Shauna Stanley, West Chester University. 5. Anne Carman May, Harvard University. 6. Kari Searls, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Another IHSA head coach who was at today's show is Clare Knapp, who had three of her former Marist College riders entered as well as former Rochester Institute of Technology rider Lindsay Voak. And woudn't you know it all four riders placed inside the top two in their respective classes! From left to right are Shayna Fielding, Voak (who won reunion flat ahead of Fielding), Marist assistant coach Lorena Passi (who rode for the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate. Passi is holding "Shorty," who belongs to Voak), Knapp, Mia Fellin (who won the Future Alumni Cup) and Sarah Levi (second to Fellin). Knapp has often brought her riders to Alumni Tournament shows over the past five years.

Ranch Riding: 1. Veronica Tennariello, Montclair State University. 2. Joanne Coniglio, Delaware Valley University. 3. Rachel VanDemark, Rutgers University. 4. Rebecca Folk, Lafayette College. 5. Eleanor Harowicz, Moravian College. 6. Andrea LaManque, Morrisville State College.

Alumni Reining: 1. Andrea LaManque, Morrisville State College. 2. Rachael Harze, Kutztown University. 3. Jess Benner, Kutztown University.

Advanced Horsemanship: 1. Shilpa Deshpande, University of Delaware. 2. Eleanor Harowicz, Moravian College. 3. Amanda Golembeski, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 4. Taylor Day, Ohio State University. 5. Rebecca Folk, Lafayette College. 6. Kendra Clarke, Delaware Valley University.

Alumni Horsemanship: 1. James Hobbie, University of Delaware. 2. Amanda Tucker, Bloomsburg University. 3. Andrea LaManque, Morrisville State College. 4. Rachel VanDemark, Rutgers University. 5. Nina Shaffer, West Chester University. 6. Constance Chave, Cazenovia College.

Advanced Reining: 1. Taylor Day, Ohio State University. 2. Rebecca Folk, Lafayette College. 3. Amanda Golembeski, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 4. Megan Gennings, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 5. Kendra Clarke, Delaware Valley University. 6. Victoria Behm, Delaware Valley University.

Western Alumni Cup (combined reining and rail phases): 1. Rebecca Folk, Lafayette College. 2. Tammy Cranouski, Westfield State University. 3. Eleanor Harowicz, Moravian College. 4. Megan Gennings, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 5. Victoria Behm, Delaware Valley University. 6. Taylor Day, Ohio State University.

Advanced Flat: 1. Ashton Phillips, Virginia Intermont College. 2. Tara Mathews, University of Connecticut. 3. Allyson Villareale, Delaware Valley University. 4. Rachel VanDemark, Rutgers University. 5. Alexa Basile, State University of New York at Potsdam. 6. Erika Kurtz, University of Findlay.

Alumni Flat: 1. Katie Snyder, Wilson College. 2. Emily Weis, Stonehill College. 3. Carolyn Rosazza, Virginia Tech. 4. Erica Green, Washington and Jefferson College. 5. Annabelle Goese, University of Notre Dame. 6. Sandy Rose, College of St. Elizabeth.

Future Alumni Cup (combined flat and fences phases): 1. Mia Fellin, Marist College. 2. Sarah Levi, Marist College. 3. Caitlin O'Neill, Penn State University (State College). 4. Brendan D'Costa, State University of New York at Cobleskill. 5. Tracy Schmidt, Virginia Tech. 6. Alexis Martin, Delaware Valley University. 7. Alyssa Mania, State University of New York at Oneonta. 8. Gillian Hutter, Johns Hopkins University.

Reunion Flat: 1. Lindsay Voak, Rochester Institute of Technology. 2. Shayna Fielding, Marist College. 3. Alexis Kupic, Seton Hill University. 4. Jessica Maye, George Washington University. 5. Nicole Paris, Nazareth College. 6. Sheridan Sone, Wilson College.

This photo was taken after all the awards had been presented. From left to right are Windle, McCoy, Mendenhall and Alexis Ballance, who not only acted as Mendenhall's horse in this picture but also acted as one of many horse providers (as did Mendenhall). Ballance, who was Alexis Wirth at Kutztown University as an undergraduate, was second in the Reunion Fences division much earlier in the day.

Alumni Cup (combined flat and fences phases): 1. Tara Mathews, University of Connecticut. 2. Catherine Hensly, Hollins University. 3. Kayleigh Burke, Virginia Tech. 4. Emily Cornell, Delaware Valley University. 5. Jacqueline Minto, Long Island University - C.W. Post College. 6. Eleanor Harowicz, Moravian College. 7. Alexandra Bishop, Lafayette College. 8. Maria McCloskey, Kutztown University.

Founder's Battle (combined flat and fences phases; Also lists year in which each rider won a previous alumni cup competition): 1. Tara Mathews, University of Connecticut (2017). 2. Kayleigh Burke, Virginia Tech (2018 and 2019). 3. Sara McCoy, University of Delaware (2014). 4. Heather Johnson, Post University (2013). 5. Amy Kriwitsky, University of Connecticut (2012). 6. Allyson Villareale, Delaware Valley University (2020). 7. Megan Mendenhall, Wilson College (2015). 8. Bianca DeStefano, Temple University (2016).


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