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Scholarships and Sponsorships:

Countdown to 2012 IHSA National Championships

  Fairfield , CT —March 21, 2012—The pace is picking up as Intercollegiate Horse Show Association teams across America and parts of Canada close in on qualifying for the 39th annual IHSA National Championships, May 3-6, at the Hunt Horse Complex of the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh .


Indicative of that excitement is the IHSA Board of Directors’ pleasure in formally announcing a new partnership with one of the nation’s premier retailers of animal products, SmartPak™ Equine, LLC.  Founded in 1999 by Mount Holyoke College graduate, Rebecca Minard, and based in Plymouth , MA , SmartPak offers equine supplements, horse healthcare products, horse gear products, rider apparel, rider gear, barn and stable supplies, tack, and dog and cat products.


SmartPak is now the “Official Online Retailer of the IHSA,” offering IHSA members new benefits including a five-percent discount on purchases, free embroidery and engraving on items purchased through SmartPak for IHSA members, and prizes for IHSA National and Zones Championships.


“We are excited to see this new relationship start,” said IHSA executive director, Robert E. Cacchione, who met earlier in January, during the annual IHSA Board Meeting, with SmartPak Equine Director of Sales, Susan E. Tuller, and Senior Director, Tack & Equipment, Donnie Steele.


The winner of the 2012 Jon Conyers Memorial Scholarship is Peyton Callanan, a Walk-Trot-Canter (W-T-C) rider from Georgia Southern University. Her coach, Eleanor Ellis, supported her nomination with this moving recommendation:


“Sometimes as coaches we instruct riders. Sometimes we get the privilege of teaching and encouraging horsemen and horsewomen. Peyton Callanan is a horsewoman in the making. She does not get to attend every show. Since she has to pay her own entries, she has to be careful with expenses and with three jobs it is sometimes tough to get time off.  Yet she is willing to give up her slot if someone else is close to qualifying or just wants to show badly. At first glance it would seem she is not very dedicated. In reality, she is just a nice girl.  I am fortunate to have such a young lady on my team.”


The Jon Conyers Memorial Scholarship was established to honor an extraordinary teacher, judge and coach and is available annually to an undergraduate competing member of IHSA, who receives $1,500 from the Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation.  Last year’s winner was Madeleine Day of Sewanee: The University of the South.


The IHSA mission is to promote competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional and national levels. IHSA is based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her financial status or riding level. For more information about the 2012 IHSA National Championships, or IHSA, please visit


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