This past month the American Stock Horse Association hosted their National Collegiate Championship Show in Sweetwater, Texas. The ASHA created the collegiate branch about fifteen years ago and it has become a popular program. At Nationals, students are placed into individual divisions based on their level of cow work, either Novice, Limited, or Non-Pro. There are also Divisions for teams as a whole. Division II teams have a four-member team consisting of two Novice and two Limited riders. Division I teams have six members with two riders in each of the three levels. Each team member shows in the four ASHA events; Stock Horse Pleasure, Stock Horse Trail, Stock Horse Reining, and Working Cow Horse.
The weekend started Thursday evening with a welcome pizza party, followed by two full days of showing, and wrapped up Sunday morning with the awards breakfast.
There are a handful of staple items you will notice while walking through the ASHA National Collegiate Championship Show.
- Team shirts. Each team makes sure to have freshly starched, matching show shirts accompanied with their school’s brand or logo embroidered across their back.
- Banners. The stalls, especially the tack room, act as the team’s locker room. Teams enjoy decorating their area with a banner and maybe even a table full of snacks.
- Competitive atmosphere. With all the riders being in college and the extra pressure of showing for your team, the atmosphere can feel thick with determination, confidence, anxious butterflies, and excitement.
Overall, the weekend was as enjoyable as always. The popularity of collegiate ranch horse teams continues to grow. This is an amazing opportunity for young adults to be involved in the horse show world and to represent their school while doing what they love!
This year the Division I High Point Team title went to North Central Texas College and DII went to Middle Tennessee University. Congratulations to both teams on their accomplishments!
Ashton Rein Williams