April 15, 2009 -- Ten colleges and universities will enter teams seeking the 2009 national championship of the American National Riding Commission (ANRC) April 17 - 19, at St. Andrews Presbyterian College. Savannah College of Art and Design from Savannah, Ga., will defend its 2008 title.
Savannah College has captured the Betty Belser Memorial Trophy four times including three of the past four years. In 2007, the team from St. Andrews won the national title.
Riders will compete in hunter seat equitation for the team and individual titles.
"We are thrilled the ANRC has chosen to return to St. Andrews for their national championship," said Peggy McElveen, the director of the St. Andrews Equestrian Center. "St. Andrews has hosted this national championship previously and has a wonderful facility for this multi-faceted competition."
Most recently this championship was held at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and at Centenary College in New Jersey.
Other colleges and universities fielding teams are Centenary College from Hacketstown, N.J., the College of William and Mary from Williamsburg, Va., Duke University from Durham, Goucher College from Townsend, Pa., Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Cambridge, Mass., Otterbein College from Westerville, Ohio, Sweet Briar College from Sweet Briar, Va., and the University of the South from Sewanee, Tenn.
Two or three riders from each college will compete as a team. The championship consists of three riding phases judged on equitation and a written phase covering riding theory and stable management. The riders perform a memorized flat test that includes many of the United States Equestrian Federation hunter seat tests on Saturday. On Sunday, they compete on an outdoor hunter trials course with three-foot heights and then move to a three-foot hunter seat equitation medal course in the ring.
The ANRC National Championship is a USEF Local Recognized Competition and is an Affiliate Member of the United States Hunter Jumper Association. Special sportsmanship and equitation awards sponsored by the USHJA are presented at the ANRC Championship. The 2009 National Championship is dedicated to the memory of Jon Conyers, an alumnus of St. Andrews Presbyterian College, an ANRC Board member, and a highly regarded equine professional and educator.
The purpose of the ANRC is to promote the highest quality of educated riding and related services within schools, colleges, and universities; and in public and private concerns. For more information on ANRC and on the National Championship, please visit the organization's website www.anrc.org