Hidden Valley Farm is proud to be the home of the Converse College Equestrian Team. The team competes Hunt Seat Equitation in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) in Zone 5, Region 3, and unlike many other schools, the IHSA team is considered a Varsity sport and offers scholarships to riders of all levels. Converse Equestrian also scrimmages against multiple NCAA teams each season.
IHSA provides collegiate riders of all skills the opportunity to compete individually and as teams in equestrian competition. It was founded on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her riding ability or financial status.
The emphasis in IHSA is on learning, sportsmanship, and fun. Competition plays a role, but the students’ enthusiasm and team spirit are the major factors. The objective of IHSA competition is to offer the opportunity to riders in their first years of riding as well as to students with show experience. Eliminating the expense of shipping or even owning horses puts IHSA competitions within reach of many who would otherwise miss the equestrian experience.
The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) has grown and developed since it was established in 1967 through the prototype competition program Bob Cacchione (with the help of his professor Jack Fritz) started when he was an 18-year-old sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
Today, from its beginning with just two intercollegiate competing colleges, the IHSA is an organization that encompasses 37 Regions in 8 Zones with almost 400 member colleges in 45 states and Canada – representing more than 9000 riders in both Hunter Seat Equitation, Western Horsemanship, and Reining. In 1999 the original organization was dissolved and IHSA Inc was incorporated as a non-profit organization.