Lead by three riders from Florida, Virginia Intermont College located in Bristol, VA won the 2010 Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championship Saturday April 23rd making it Virginia Intermont’s third national championship in 5 years. This year’s championship was hosted by St Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC. Elizabeth Mirson a junior from Wellington FL, Gigi Good a junior from Boca Raton FL, and Claire Almon a senior from Longwood, FL each finished second out of twelve competitors in their respective divisions accumulating sufficient points of which the other schools could not overcome.
Elizabeth Mirson was the only returning rider from last year’s team that returned home as the 2009 reserve national champion. Liz was determined to return and finish what she started. The University of Florida finished second and Virginia Tech place third. All three Floridians were the individual regional champions in their respective divisions. Chelsea Dressler, a senior from Covington VA, the fourth member of team, finished ninth in her division.
The IDA was formed in 2001 and now has a membership of 55 colleges and more than 600 individual riders. Intercollegiate dressage competitions have a unique format in that the rules require each rider to randomly draw a horse from a pool of horses selected for each division. The rider then has ten minutes to get acquainted with their mount before entering the ring.
The college bound invitational held in Newberry, Fl each year appears to be the common thread that first attracted these riders to VIC. Coaches Eddie Federwisch and Lisa Moosmuller focused their attention on recruiting some of this nation’s most promising young riders many years ago via the college bound invitational and it has clearly payoff for them.