St. Andrews IDA Show at the Equestrian Center

IDA Team Home ShowSt. Andrews hosted the first Intercollegiate Dressage Show of the year at the Equestrian Center Nov. 18th. Blue skies and gentle temperatures crowned a well organized horse show, with good riding and friendly competition.

The show was well supported by parents who traveled from as far away as Alabama and New Hampshire to support the team.

Team Results
1st Averett University 21
2nd St. Andrews University 14
3rd Mixed Team Santa Claus 14
4th Wake Forest University 9
5th NCSU 8
6th Longwood University 6

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Dressage Team Beats 16 – 17 National Champions!

The St. Andrews Intercollegiate Dressage Association Team (IDA) team are the Region I Champions going to NATIONALS at Lake Erie College, April 26-29! The Knights beat last year’s National Champions, Averett University by 1 point earning the trip to Ohio.

Several team members end the season as Regional Champion and Reserve Champion, qualifying for Nationals as individuals!
#saueq #nationalsbound  #ida

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Alex Varisco Qualifies for Intercollegiate Dressage Association Nationals

Barney the dog giving Alex a kiss to celebrate her win.
Alex and Barney. Photo by Kelley Varisco.

Riding to four wins at First Level earned Alex Varisco a perfect score and a trip to the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championships. No other rider in the region can catch Alex with one show left at Averett University next Sunday, Feb. 11. Alex will represent the region at IDA Nationals at Lake Erie College, April 26 – 29. Gaby Stephens is a strong contender for the Reserve Champion title.  Continue reading “Alex Varisco Qualifies for Intercollegiate Dressage Association Nationals”

Got Chocolate Chip cookies? Make Lemonade!

Lemonade at CThis weekend did not turn out as I had expected. My blog post A Chocolate Chip Cookie Weekend took a look at why we do what we do in colleges with equine studies programs and intercollegiate dressage teams. During that discussion I thought I had outlined most of the outcomes, and the benefits and rewards of collegiate equestrian programs. I even went as far as to suggest that some of the learning may not be easy and could be a little awkward.  Not even close! I failed to consider the possibility of no clinic!

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A Chocolate Chip Cookie Weekend

Dressage at St. Andrews
Dressage at St. Andrews

St. Andrews is honored to be hosting a clinic for their Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) regional members, Jan 27 & 28 at the Equestrian Center. Gwyneth McPherson from Maine is traveling to Laurinburg to spend the weekend with riders and coaches who usually only get together to compete against one another. Some come from schools with equine studies programs and others from schools where riding is a club sport.

Gwyneth has trained with Lendon Gray, Carol Lavell and Michael Poulin and enjoys sharing her knowledge with riders of all levels. The clinic was one of two given to IDA for its members by Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine (pineland.org) as part of their mission to provide education that enriches the community. In this case the community reaches to North Carolina. California IDA members were the recipients of the other clinic and Gwyneth has already made the trip out west.

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St. Andrews IDA Home Show

A beautiful fall day with a hard working team, cheerful members of the equestrian program helping out and a bunch of parents and family members made yesterday’s IDA show run perfectly. The competitive highlights of the show included Alex Varisco and Gaby Stephens placing first and second in First Level Test 2. Alex now leads the region with 22 points and Gaby right behind her with 21 points.

Beth Ann Tate had a technically correct ride on our lovely horse JB to win Training Level Test 2 and the title of High Point Rider with a score of 71.346%.

At the Intro level Isa Duckett and Kayla Thomas both drew Hula who is a retired jumper and whose day job is with the Ride-Like-A-Knight program and ended up second and third respectively.

Photos by Pebbles Turbeville

Other St. Andrews team members had challenging rides with a couple of horses that brought a little sassiness to the day. They dealt with these frustrating challenges with good horsemanship, good humor and humility – great examples of good sportsmanship.

In Dressage Seat Equitation all the riders were rewarded with a few moments with judge Sue Smithson giving them feedback on their position. Kat Schneider was thrilled with her second place ride on Smoke. All the horses in her division were tall and Kat who is quite short was excited to pull the ride on the smallest horse in the division.


St. Andrews Equestrian Program is dedicated to the development of future leaders in the equine industry. The program is home to the 2016 and 2017 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Champions in Western Horsemanship. The Hunter Seat team is regularly represented at IHSA Nationals and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team has sent riders to the National Championships nearly every year since 2002. Students also ride at USHJA and USEF rated shows as well as attending schooling shows.

A small liberal arts and sciences university, St. Andrews majors include Business, Biology and Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Click here to request more information about St. Andrews University and the Equestrian program.