Horses, riders, trainers and passionate observers will be traveling to the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia for the 13th annual Virginia Intermont Classic Horse Show, March 1-4, 2012. The event is a U.S. Equestrian Federation A-rated hunter/jumper show attracting 300 to 400 competitors from throughout the Mid-Atlantic States.
Virginia Intermont College has hosted the VI Classic since 1999, when the event replaced the previous Stonewall Country III Horse Show. In addition to showcasing the skill and athleticism of talented equestrians, the VI Classic serves as a unique training tool for Virginia Intermont’s Equine Studies students. During the four-day event, VI students work in various capacities from assisting trainers and riders to performing tasks with all aspects of the horse show management team.
“The idea is not only to provide our students with showing experience, but to offer a ‘work-study’ opportunity for hands-on experience behind the scenes in show management or alongside trainers in all aspects of showing with clients,” said Eddie Federwisch, VI’s Director of Equine Studies.
The assistance that VI students provide to horse owners and trainers provides valuable learning as well as a way for them to build professional networks for potential employment opportunities. The experience often results in internships, summer jobs or full-time work for students seeking a career in the horse industry.
Highlights of the show include the Collegiate Cup competition, a college/interscholastic team equitation competition which has grown to attract secondary school teams as well as college riders. The Collegiate Cup competition loosely follows current standards of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Teams consist of three members – an open, intermediate and novice rider – and each group competes against others in their classification in over fences and flat. Individual numeric scores are totaled to determine the team winner. Winning teams in previous years, sometimes consecutively, include Virginia Intermont, University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University and Hollins University. This year’s Collegiate Cup is dedicated and held in memory of VI riding team member, student and friend, Claire Mawdsley.
Also honoring the memory of a VI friend, the Robert M. Reel Memorial Trophy has been awarded each year since Bob Reel’s death during the VI Classic in 2003. Mr. Reel was instrumental in forming the partnership between the Virginia Horse Center and the College at the time that VI Classic was founded. He was very supportive of the concept of the show providing a “lab” in which VI students would be able to gain practical experience; accordingly the award is given to the outstanding “Workshop” student during the event. Past winners of the Trophy are:
2004 Megan McDonald
2005 Casey Copsey
2006 Kaylin Besmer and Lila Suman
2008 Lisa Childress
2009 Julia McLaughlin
2010 Brian Meyers
2011 Erin Hoyt
The VI Classic is Virginia Horse Center’s only college-hosted show and one of few in the nation. Located at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 64 in Lexington, Va., the Horse Center facility includes 600 acres with large indoor arenas, eight barns, nineteen show rings, and a cross-country course. For more information contact: Leslie Brown at 540.464.2961 or visit http://www.horsecenter.org/2012%20Classlists/Intermont2012.pdf