TOWSON, Md. – The Goucher College Equestrian team looks to make another run to the 2018 IHSA National Horse Show following an eighth-place finish at the national event in 2017.
Head Coach, Jen Smith, enters her fifth year leading the prestigious Goucher Equestrian program following a six-year stint as the assistant director of riding and then associate director of the program. Under Smith's tutelage, the Gophers have advanced to the IHSA National Horse Show every year, placing in the top-two at the IHSA Zone IV Championships.
"As we do every year, we'll hit the ground running in August to prep for the Pre-Season Tournament, which is invite-only to the previous year's Regional Champion teams," explains Smith. "We won't know exactly what the new Goucher team will shape up to look like until after our tryouts on August 20, but it's looking like we will have another promising class coming in."
Goucher will kick-off its 2017-18 schedule on Sept. 16 at the Tournament of Champions Pre-Season Classic Tournament held at Randolph College. The event is one of four in the Tournament of Champions Series held throughout the year and features some of the best teams in the nation.
Through the month of October, Goucher will travel to Mt. St. Mary's (Oct. 7) and Towson University (Oct. 22) to participate in IHSA sanctioned horse shows. Goucher will also host an IHSA show on Oct. 28.
The Gophers will wrap up the first semester with the Holiday Tournament of Champions – the second installment of the Tournament of Champions series – to be held at the University of Findlay in Ohio on Dec. 2.
When Goucher riding returns to campus in January, it will wrap up the Tournament of Champions series on back-to-back weekends with the Winter Classic I (Jan. 20) and Winter Classic II (Jan. 27) Tournament of Champions. The first Winter Classic will be held at Ohio University while the second Winter Classic's location has not been disclosed at this point.
February is a light month for the Gophers who will travel to the University of Maryland for the American IHSA Show on Feb. 25.
During the month of March, Goucher hosts the UMBC IHSA Show on Mar. 18, closing out the regular season prior to regionals. One day later, the Zone IV Region I Finals will be held at Goucher with the Champions and Reserve Champions moving onto the Zone IV Championships at Virginia Tech on Apr. 7.
The top-two teams from Zone IV will move onto the 2018 National IHSA Horse Show held on May 3-6 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.