Blog: 2014 IHSA National Championships Preparations

Taylor Graham details the preparations of Lake Erie College IHSA National Championship competitors Chelsie Stair and Courtney Newby.

We’re on the road to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for the 2014 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships! IHSA member Taylor Graham is on the ground to bring you lots of behind-the-scenes coverage. For more about the 2014 IHSA Nationals, go to their website here.

Hi Everyone! My name is Taylor Graham. I am an Equine Entrepreneurship major from Lake Erie College and will be providing you with all the highlights from the 2014 IHSA National Championships from two of my teammates, Chelsie Stair and Courtney Newby. For the 2013-2014 IHSA show season, it has been a pleasure to travel with both the English and Western riding teams as the IHSA Media Intern of the region.

Taylor Graham

I have been riding horses since the age of two, and my love for the sport has only grown deeper. I also enjoy writing and taking photographs. Crazy enough, I decided to combine my passion for both and would like to pursue a career in Equine Journalism. I am honored to be attending this years IHSA National Championships in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and provide you with all the behind-the-scene details from two Lake Erie College competitors.

Chelsie Stair will be graduating this year from Lake Erie College as an Equine Teacher/Trainer major. She will be competing at IHSA Nationals as the Cacchione Cup rider of the region. Chelsie’s mother grew up with horses, and Chelsie has competed on the AQHA circuit and has won many awards. She has been a member of IHSA for three years and is now the president of the Lake Erie College team. After graduation, Chelsie plans to run her family’s stable, Candy Lane Acres, in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Chelsie Star

Chelsie has worked her way up from the Novice division to Open and is very excited to be competing as the Cacchione Cup rider. “My goal for this IHSA show season was to try my hardest to win the Cacchione Cup Rider of our region. It was a great feeling to accomplish this goal especially because it is my last year on IHSA,” Chelsie said.

Chelsie has been working towards Nationals all year. Every practice and every show experience has been an opportunity for her towards becoming a better rider. Chelsie also practices at her stable at home and tries to ride a variety of horses in order to become the best rider she can be. Myself and the rest of the team members of Lake Erie College will be along the fence rooting for Chelsie as she competes at Nationals.

Courtney Newby is an alum of Lake Erie College and will be competing at Nationals in the Alumni Equitation on the Flat division. Courtney graduated with a double major in Equine Teacher/Trainer and Equine Facility Management. She is now a graduate assistant at LEC and is working on her masters in Education. She is also the assistant coach of the IHSA team.

Courtney Newby

Courtney competed at Nationals as a Freshman in Novice Over Fences as well as Novice Flat and is very excited to be representing her team once again this year. “It feels great to be competing at Nationals as an alum. I have always been an extremely competitive person, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to always be the best. This year, I chose to compete as an alum entirely for the fun of it. I am assistant coaching, so I figured why not get some ride time while I’m at it?” said Courtney Newby.

Courtney originally started her riding career as a hunter equitation rider but was introduced to the world of jumpers her freshman year of college. Now she trains and competes at jumper shows with Zulu, the horse she leases now. Courtney has been in weekly IHSA practices in order to work on her equitation skills and to practice riding a variety of horses.

Both Chelsie and Courtney are competitive and determined riders. I wish them the best of luck at this weeks competition!

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