The fourth annual College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) will be held at a new Florida venue, March 28-30, 2014. The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Palm Beach is a premiere equestrian facility. It has a covered arena, ample spectator and coach seating areas and is located just seven miles from Wellington's Winter Equestrian Festival.
It's a long way to travel for West Coast-based riders, but the benefits are big for those who want to learn about collegiate riding opportunities and ask questions of and be seen by college coaches. Organizers report that five Californians and one Hawaiian had already signed up by presstime. The show provides the horses and tack, which reduces the cost of participation. Two travel grants provided by the United States Hunter Jumper Assn. are among several forms of financial assistance available through CPI.
The mission of the CPI is to prepare and educate student riders in grades 9-12 about the format of college equestrian competition, encourage academics and horsemanship, and to provide the riders with resources to create their desired college equestrian experience. The show is specifically geared to promote college recruitment of equestrians by providing the opportunity for coaches and potential students to meet. The College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show is rooted in the belief that equestrian talent, not finances, should dictate a rider's opportunity to be a part of a collegiate team.
The College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show is based on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) hunt seat equitation classification, where horses will be assigned by a random draw on the day of competition. Along with the competition, the CPI will offer seminars and question and answer sessions. Riders and their families will hear about the college equestrian experience and familiarize themselves with the different associations that govern collegiate riding. There will also be a number of college and universities present to distribute literature and introduce the academic and riding opportunities, including scholarships, offered at their institution. Because the future leaders of the equestrian business and sport are the college-bound riders, The College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show Scholarship Fund is designed to reward riders who exhibit social conduct and academic excellence as well as competitive success.
The CPI offers various types of scholarships to the student riders. Please visit the CPI website's Scholarship Page for detailed information regarding the CPI Scholarships, including the travel grants.
In related news, the CPI has a new show manager in Peter Cashman. His experience includes being Director of Riding at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point where he oversees a 50 stall barn, a lesson program, the USMA Cadet Equestrian Team and the Army Mules. Along with his wife Sherry Cashman, co-coach of the USMA teams, the Cashmans have built the program into a highly competitive unit and have sent seven American Quarter Horse Association (AMHA) riders to Nationals as well as individuals in Western and English. They have also had three riders at the National Cacchione Cup.
Cashman was awarded the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Coach of the Year in 2008 and has served on the IHSA Board of Directors for over 20 years. He has held numerous positions in the IHSA, from regional president, zone chair, and is currently Director at Large and Chairman of the IHSA National Horse Show Committee. "To have a gentleman of such knowledge and integrity accept this integral position is a seal of approval for the CPI program and for the opportunities the CPI has provided student riders in the past three years," states Jeanne Rouco-Conesa, CPI President. "I am looking forward to working with Peter for years to come."
The 2014 CPI will only feature hunt seat equitation competition over fences and on the flat: there will be no dressage competition.
Applications to participate are available online, and the deadline is Nov. 15. Late application fees will be assessed to applications received after Nov. 15.