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Saddlebred Strong Series: Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association

Published Date: Jul 01, 2019


The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) visited the 2019 Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association (ISSRA) National Championship Horse Show to find out how the American Saddlebred has helped shape these dedicated equestrians and talented young women during their college years. Learn how combining the American Saddlebred, Saddle Seat riding and a team environment helps make these accomplished college students "Saddlebred Strong"! We are grateful to have these passionate leaders and future contributors to the equine industry representing the American Saddlebred and volunteering to share their Saddlebred story.

Many adult amateurs find and grow their passion for the equestrian life during their time participating on college riding teams and with college equestrian clubs. As we see through programs like the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and the Youth Equestrian Development Association team based equine competitions are bringing equestrians and horse lovers together across the country. The ISSRA is providing this opportunity and introducing new riders each year to the Saddle Seat discipline and the American Saddlebred. In addition to bringing new enthusiasts to the community these teams provide an outlet for Saddlebred lovers and Saddle Seat riders to continue their passion while away at school.  We are proud to have these horse lovers of all levels enjoying and learning from the kind, safe and fun horse that we love! Most importantly, we are grateful to these teams for providing the opportunity for those who have a general interest in horses to discover the American Saddlebred while developing their skills as a rider and a leader.

If you are interested in joining a team or starting a team, contact Deveau Zubrod (859) 421-6753 or dzubrod@gmail.com today! 

Special thank you to Sydney Carter Photography for sharing her photos from the 2019 Championship Horse Show.

History of the ISSRA:

Founded in 2008, by college students and faculty mentors, headed by the late Dr. Sally Hayden. The mission of ISSRA is to establish saddle seat riding teams at colleges and universities providing beginners through experienced and/or advanced riders with an opportunity to learn to ride or continue their riding and showing throughout college without the necessity of owning a horse. Today, the organization includes teams from Bellarmine University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown University, Morehead State University, University of Kentucky, and University of Louisville, with independent riders competing from various universities. 

ISSRA operates its shows similar to the World Cup. Each rider shows in an equitation rail class and a pattern class. Individual riders draw a horse for each class entered, and have minimal warm-up. Coaches select team point riders in each division prior to the first class and those riders accumulate both team and individual points. Awards consist of a High Point Team, a Reserve High Point Team, High Point Rider and Reserve High Point Rider - to both Senior and Junior riders - based on accumulated points.
Each ISSRA coach places his/her riders in specified divisions based on show experience and a formal riding evaluation. Senior riders compete in Open, Open Limit, Advanced, or Novice classes, while Junior riders compete in Intermediate, Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter or Beginner Walk-Trot classes. Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full-time in a college or university is eligible to join the ISSRA as an individual member. Alumni riders are also able to compete in their respective classes. 

Only three riders of any level are needed to start a team, if you are a riding program near a college campus this could be a great way to #SharetheSaddlebred!

ISSRA Rule Book, Member Form, Rider Placement Form

For more details on show events, competitors, silent auction, and program advertisements, please contact the Terri Burch (502) 852-4859 or by email terri.burch@louisville.edu or Deveau Zubrod (859) 421-6753 or by email at dzubrod@gmail.com.

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