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Hayes Places Third in the Nation in IHSA Competition

May 15, 2013

Jessie Hayes, class of 2014, traveled with Coach Cricket Morris to Harrisburg, Pa. to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships May 2-4. Jessie competed in the Novice Equitation on the Flat championship class. In a ride against 16 of the national qualifiers, Jessie placed third in the competition.

In IHSA competition, the host college supplies all horses and tack, and riders draw the horse they will ride. Jessie drew "Sunny Banks," a horse donated for the competition by Randolph College in Lynchburg. Jessie remarked, "Sunny was the perfect horse for me to ride. He's not very tall, so I fit him well."

Coach Morris said, "Jessie rode beautifully all year, but really came into her own throughout the regional, zone and national finals. In an extremely tough class, she put together everything we have worked on all year and rode perfectly. The countdown from tenth place was almost unbearable to watch as Jessie continued to stand in the middle of the ring waiting for her number to be called. When I realized she was in the top four in the nation I didn't care where she placed - I was just ecstatic for her!"

There are more than 8,800 riders in IHSA competitions throughout the country. Averett University will host an IHSA show next October at the Equestrian Center, bringing together riders from Virginia Intermont, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Elon, along with seven other colleges in the region.