February 2016 - College Preparatory Invitational

Popular college equestrian preview event debuts on West Coast March 11-13.

Now in its sixth year, the College Prep Invitational is a national program that allows young equestrians (grades 9 through 12) from around the country to explore the college equestrian experience through a comprehensive education, competition and scholarship/community service program.


The CPI has traditionally held its event in Palm Beach, FL each January. In 2015, the CPI was attended by 150 student riders from 30 states who traveled to Florida for the event. Nearly 25 percent of these riders came from the West Coast – some from as far away as Hawaii. This was confirmation to the organization’s management that the CPI was ready for geographic expansion.

In 2016, the CPI will debut the first annual West Coast event, scheduled from March 11-13 at the LA Equestrian Center Equidome in Burbank. It will follow the same successful format as the CPI Florida event, with space for 150 student riders to attend.

Marnye Langer has signed on to judge the inaugural CPI West Coast horse show. She has judged at a variety of shows around the country, including HITS Saugerties, Arizona and the Desert Circuit, as well as the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships. She has also judged Intercollegiate Horse Shows Assn. shows.

In addition to being an active competitor, she serves as President of Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association and a Director of the USHJA Foundation, as well as a member of several USHJA committees.

Over the years, the United States Hunter Jumper Association has awarded travel grants for riders in the CPI event and this year they have extended the deadline on both coasts so that more riders could apply for the stipend. This allows students who would not otherwise be able to afford the costs associated with a trip like this to attend the CPI, which has made the CPI events more accessible to a wider group of student riders.

College Expo

A key part of the CPI is the College Expo during which students and parents can meet with representatives and coaches from more than 35 colleges to learn about different college equestrian programs, majors and academic degrees. This allows students to have a sort of “one-stop shopping” experience where students can gather information and, if they choose, have a one-on-one discussion with key college reps without having to travel.

Oftentimes CPI attendees are introduced to a college that is brand new to them. This allows them to expand their college search even further and ultimately make a better-informed choice about their college experience.

A highlight of the CPI event is the hunt seat equitation competition, which allows the rider to experience the unique collegiate equestrian horse show format. This gives each rider the opportunity to participate in the draw, assess their horse and then display their equitation, sportsmanship and horsemanship skills in managing an unfamiliar mount in a competition setting.

The CPI awards scholarships through their CPI Scholarship and Educational Fund in five different areas including horsemanship knowledge, community service work, riding ability, essay writing and photography.

The organization maintains an active Junior Ambassador Program all year long that offers intern-type experiences and awards community service hours to involved students who raise funds and awareness for the program.

Two days of educational presentations and seminars from top professionals in the industry round out the weekend’s activities and give students a perspective on everything from conducting an effective college search to navigating college admissions tests. Coaches and collegiate riders offer tips on maximizing their IEA experience and what they might expect during IHSA competition.

Student riders who attend the CPI can expect to gain an excellent overview of what’s available to them when choosing a college equestrian experience. They also gain a valuable perspective on how their equestrianism might fit into their college career and beyond.

For more information on the CPI in Burbank next month, visit www.cpihorseshow.com.