He was second at 2018 IHSA Nationals when this photo was taken and again on December 1st in the high medal division at the Holiday Tournament of Champions invitational. From Leesburg, Virginia, Adam Edgar of Savannah College of Art & Design has finished second twice and won outright once in the TOC series Medal classes halfway through his sophomore year.


(Jim Arrigon, who not only created the Tournament of Champions Invitational series some 27 years ago but also coached in it on many occasions, sent us Press Releases following both the recent Holiday Tournament of Champions event near Columbus, Ohio on December 1st and the Pre-Season Tournament of Champions in Lynchburg, Virginia on September 22nd. Campus Equestrian presents these press releases in edited form, with the Holiday event press release up first - Editor)

Westerville, OH - Sixteen top collegiate equestrian teams gathered in Columbus, Ohio for the 27th Holiday Tournament of Champions, December 1 at Otterbein University. All but one of the teams had finished the fall semester in first place in their regions, bolstering the “Winter Nationals” nickname it earned nearly three decades ago. Three local rivals kicked off the party, winning the first three classes. Otterbein’s Danielle Duryea set the tone for the hosts with the blue ribbon in the first class (Open Fences - Section A). Ohio University’s Madeline Davis won Open Fences Section B. The two are rivals for Cacchione Cup Champion in the local region (Zone 6, Region 2) and their teams finished the fall semester in a tie for the team lead. Miami’s Tess Von Hemel won section A of Intermediate fences to make it three straight Ohio wins. Miami of Ohio had been the third rival in this competitive region before IHSA shifted the regional boundary over the summer. Miami goes into Christmas Break with a solid lead over the University of Kentucky in their new region (Zone 6, Region 3).

It was Class 8 before Savannah College of Art and Design had a blue ribbon, giving everyone else early hope, but the Bees bounced back to a normal SCAD day with 44 points paced by four blue ribbons and the easy win. Brady Martino won the Novice Fences to jolt them back to normal, the start of a perfect day for the sophomore from Easton, Pennsylvania. Martino later won his Novice Flat class and both phases of the Tournament Low Medal. It was Brady’s third Tournament Medal Championship, tying his former SCAD teammate Tess Mroczka as the only riders to have won three Low Medals. Delaware Valley University's Ciara Menkens and Tufts University's Chase Boggio remain the all-time leaders in the High Medal with three wins apiece.

At the end of three divisions - the three team fences - SCAD had taken a lead they would hold and extend the rest of the day. Their 16 points led Delaware Valley's 14 followed by Mount Holyoke and Otterbein both with 13 and Ohio University with 12. Mount Holyoke and Goucher were the only other teams with more than one blue ribbon for the day; both finished with two apiece. Del Val’s and Ohio’s three red ribbons led all teams in second place ribbons and propped up their scores.

In an unusual change of format for a Tournament event the High and Low Medal classes were held and completed in their entirety in the middle of the day (usually the callbacks are the final classes of the day - Editor). It was a banner day for Tournament Medal, with no fewer than nine competing riders having finished as Champion or Reserve Champion in prior Tournament Medals. In the high medal Judge Katie Schaaf called back ten riders to jump following two sections of flat. Four riders were called back for additional testing. In reverse order, the "testers" were Adam Edgar (SCAD); Alexandra Worthington (Vanderbilt University); Davis and Elizabeth Traband of Penn State who was testing in the lead. They rode a very short canter from the gate to jumps 2, 3, and 4, halt, drop stirrups and trot back to the gate. All had good jumps but Davis hung a back lead on the rollback and Traband was weak to the first jump after opting for a longer approach. In the end good friends Worthington and Edgar ended up in the top ribbons for High Medal. It was Edgars' second Reserve finish to go with a Championship in his year-and-half of Tournaments. For Worthington it was her Tournament debut. Davis was Reserve Champion in the September 2018 Tournament High Medal.

Low Medal was a slam dunk for Martino, with the high score in both the flat and fences phases to win his third Tournament Low Medal in three semesters. The University of Findlays' Jessie Hood and Michelle Smith of Randolph College owned the next-best flat scores but Smith won the battle over jumps for the Reserve Championship. Smith had won the previous Tournament Low Medal in September, a show which took place at Randolph's facility.

When the team classes resumed Ohio University jumped up to second place but zeros in their final two rides saw the Bobcats fall to seventh for the day - only three points removed from the Reserve Champion! Goucher College got two late blues from Adeline Callihan and Nadia Langer to leap-frog several teams. However SCAD, Miami and Otterbein were the only teams to score on the board in all classes and those were the top three teams in the winner’s circle at the end of the day. Coincidence? Coaches know you can’t take zeros.

Former Tufts University rider and later head coach Katie Schaaf got the chance to judge her first Tournament of Champions event, continuing 22 years of involvement with the Tournament series. Schaaf later coached IEA teams for both August Farm and Northgate Farm in the Boston area and became the only coach to win National Champion High School Team and National Champion Middle School Team in the same season. She is now a USEF trainer and judge in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Tournament of Champions will continue with Winter Classic 1, January 12th at Bridgewater College in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (close to Harrisonburg, Virginia). Winter Classic 2 will finish the season January 26 with the University of Mary Washington hosting at Hazelwild Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Tournament of Champions will award the Series Champion Team trophy in Fredericksburg to the team with the highest two-show average score. Savannah College of Art & Design is the defending Series Champion, with wins in three of the four events held in 2017-18.

2018 Holiday Tournament Team Totals:

Savannah College of Art and Design - 44 Points (Champion)

Miami University of Ohio - 30 (Reserve Champion - Won Tiebreaker)

Otterbein University - 30 (official third place)

Mount Holyoke College - 29 (official fourth place)

Goucher College - 27 (official fifth place - Won Tiebreaker)

Delaware Valley University - 27 (official sixth place)

Ohio University - 26 (official seventh place)

Penn State University (State College) - Blue Team - 25 (official eighth place)

University of Findlay - Team Spill - 19

Vanderbilt University - 18

Lake Erie College - 15

University of Delaware - 15

Penn State University (State College) - White Team - 14

University of Findlay - Team Nation - 13

Randolph College - 11

Rutgers University - 9

(End Holiday Story - Begin Pre-Season Story)

Lynchburg, VA - The 27th season of Tournament of Champions collegiate invitational series began just as it had ended...with a decisive win by Savannah College of Art and Design. The Bees won the Tournament Series Champion Trophy five straight years, combined with a three-year streak of winning the IHSA hunter seat National Championship before losing at 2018 IHSA Nationals by two points to Skidmore. Not much of a bump in the road but a bump nonetheless, and SCAD head coach Ashley Henry was looking to get back on track quickly at the Tournament Pre-season Classic on Saturday, September 22nd inside the Clare Noyes Cox Arena at the Randolph College Riding Center.

Bridgewater College struck first with a win in Open Flat by Michael Golinowski. Meghan Moran and Alyssa Simin combined for a Findlay winning streak in Intermediate Flat and Open Flat Section B, but unfortunately were competing on separate Orange and Black teams. Meanwhile SCAD’s Bumble Bee team was quietly taking the early lead in the B section with Adam Edgar’s 2nd and a win from Maddy Keck in Intermediate Flat. It was a lead they would never give up, finishing in the Champion spot with 36 points.

Sweet Briar’s Emily Schlosberg won Section A of Open Fences while Maddie Davis from Ohio University won Section B. Interestingly the Tournament allowed National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) athletes from Sweet Briar and Lynchburg to compete against the IHSA teams, something that will not be allowed in regular IHSA competition. Sweet Briar earned enough points to claim the 8th place team finish.

The University of South Carolina was the big surprise, topping all teams save for SCAD with three blue ribbons and claiming Reserve Champion honors. The Fighting Gamecocks got blues from Abby Timmons in Intermediate Fences, Jackie Ferrara in Novice Fences and Kaitlin Barton in Walk-Trot-Canter, all in the second half of the show to come from behind to score 33.

SCAD was predictably consistent, scoring 32 with their Honey Bee team to claim 3rd place. Bridgewater, Goucher College and Virginia Tech were all solid in the 4th, 5th and 6th place positions.

A pair of Maddys headlined a list of Medal names mostly different since last year, with Maddy Keck of SCAD finishing atop the High Medal standings. Ohio Universitys’ Maddie Davis was in Reserve Champion. She had also won her section of Team Open Fences and her Ohio team surprised with a 26 point 7th place finish.

Michelle Smith took the Low Medal, becoming the first rider from Randolph College ever to win a medal class at a Tournament event (Editor's Note: The Medal Classes only date back to the previous decade, originally conceived of as an alternate for a high point rider class). Smith finished just ahead of SCAD’s Madison Aguliar. Miami University of Ohio placed two riders in the top four, with Amy Knox 3rd and Meaghan Nieson 4th, respectively. Smith's Randolph teammate Molly McLaughlin came in 5th.

The judge for the day was Laura Norment of New Bern, North Carolina. If New Bern sounds familiar this is because her home town was ground zero for Hurricane Florence flooding and Norment had to evacuate ten horses to higher ground the week prior to the show.

The show was held at Randolph College to commemorate the final season of Randolph riding – the “last stand”, as the banner in the barn aisle declared. The college administration has already declared this to be the final season for Randolph riding, ending a century old tradition. They cite financial reasons as the cause of the decision. Riders wore yellow and black lapel pins that read, “I RIDE WITH RANDOLPH” to show moral support for their predicament, and Norment and many coaches and riders were wearing yellow and black, the Randolph colors.

Many riders also wore yellow and blue pins that said “Ride for Mika” in reference to former Mount Holyoke College rider Mika McKinney. Sadly McKinney, who was diagnosed with cancer two seasons ago, passed away earlier in the month (Mount Holyoke did not compete at the Pre-Season Classic - Editor).

Pre-Season Tournament Team Totals:

Savannah College of Art and Design - Team Bumble - 36 Points (Champion)

University of South Carolina - 33 (Reserve Champion)

Savannah College of Art and Design - Team Honey - 32 Points (official third place)

Bridgewater College - 29 (official fourth place)

Goucher College - 28 (official fifth place - Won Tiebreaker)

Virginia Tech - Team Sandman - 28 (official sixth place)

Ohio University - 26 (Official seventh place)

Sweet Briar College - 21 (official eighth place - Won Tiebreaker)

Miami University of Ohio - White Team - 21

University of Findlay - Black Team - 20

University of Findlay - Orange Team - 18

Miami University of Ohio - Red Team - 17

Virginia Tech - Team Start Jump - 16

Randolph College - 16

Lynchburg College - 11

(For more info about the Tournament of Champions series please e-mail or visit the Equestrian Talent Search page on Facebook)


© 2002 - 2021 Campus Equestrian