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Riding High: Brittany Fleisher ’17 Heads to National Competition
05.03.16 |
As many students are studying for finals, Brittany Fleisher ’17 is preparing for another important occasion. Fleisher is the first member of Lebanon Valley College’s Equestrian Club to qualify for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals in Lexington, Kentucky held May 5–8.

“My grandmother put me on a horse before I even knew how to walk, ” Fleisher said. “I’ve been taking riding lessons since I was 5.

“One of my favorite experiences of riding was when I was in 6th grade. My grandmother, sister, and I went to Montana to trail ride for a week. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, the people were lovely, and we saw so much wildlife, such as deer, turkeys, and moose. Overall, it was an experience I will never forget.”

Fleisher, an economics and global studies double major, is not a stranger to competition, as she’s also a forward on the Flying Dutchmen field hockey team. She also participates in Math Club and Environmental Club, and is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi.

To qualify for the IHSA Nationals, riders must compete throughout the year in regional horse shows. The LVC Equestrian Club competes against Penn State University Park, Penn State Harrisburg, Dickinson, Bucknell, Susquehanna, Gettysburg, Wilson, Millersville, and Lycoming. Participants ride in their respective class and accumulate points throughout each show. At the end of the year, any rider that “points out” by accumulating 36 points or more qualifies for regionals.

The top two participants in each class at regionals then move on to the zone competition, which includes the top two in each class from five other regions from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Riders who place in the top two of their class at zones then can go on to nationals.

The IHSA competition events include a jumping class and a flat class at their respective levels: Open, Intermediate, and Novice. A jumping class consists of a learned course of fences that competitors must pilot their horse through. A flat class consists of horse walking, trotting, and cantering on the ground without any jumps. Both events are judged on the rider and how well they ride their respective horse they drew for the day.

“This will be the biggest and most important horse show I have ever competed in, so naturally I am very nervous,” Fleisher said.

The College has had an Equestrian Club for eight years that is open to all students. Riding experience is not necessary to join the team that trains at Bowcrest Farms in Hummelstown, Pa. with trainer and LVC alumnus Cheryl Keller ’98.


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