BALTIMORE, Md. – Head coach Jen Smith has announced the 2019-20 schedule for her 10-time IHSA Zone VI Region I Goucher College championship equestrian team. The slate is highlighted by four events on the Goucher campus including hosting the IHSA Zone IV Region I finals for the fourth time since the 2006 campaign.
"The Tournament of Champions series is the only group of events we attend that are elective," said Smith. "They are invite-only, and are comprised of only the top tier teams. They are obviously really valuable – the riders get experience in that level of competition, and we get a chance to see some of the teams that we might go up against at postseason. The rest of the IHSA shows are requirements of our regular IHSA season. That said, they all prepare the team for postseason in different and valuable ways."
The squad will open the season at the MHSA Regional Horse Show and Hunter Derby on September 8.
The Gophers head to the Preseason Classic Tournament of Championships hosted by the University of Connecticut on September 20-21. It will be the seventh-straight season and for the 11th time in the last 12 years Goucher has competed in this event.
The squad comes back to campus to host the UMBC IHSA Show on October 13 and then will host an event under the Goucher name with the Goucher IHSA Show two weeks later on October 26.
For the fifth-straight year the team will compete in the George Washington/George Mason IHSA Show at the Stonegate Stables in Aldie, Virginia, on November 2-3. It will also be the seventh time since 2006 the squad has participated in a George Washington fall event.
The Gophers will also make their fifth-consecutive appearance at the Maryland/American IHSA Show at the The Other Left Farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland on November 9-10. It will be the seventh time since 2006 the team has competed in a Maryland hosted fall competition.
The team will conclude the 2019 portion of the schedule with its seventh-straight trip to the Holiday Classic Tournament of Champions at the Grier School in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, on December 6-7.
Starting out the New Year, the team heads to the Winter Classic I Tournament hosted by Savannah Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia, on January 24-25. It will be the seventh-straight year Goucher will compete in a Winter Classic event and the 10th time since 2006.
After the Winter Classic I, the squad returns to The Other Left Farm for the Maryland/American IHSA Show on March 8. It will be the sixth-consecutive year the Gophers will participate in this event and the ninth time in the spring they have competed in an Maryland hosted event since 2006.
The squad will return to campus to host the Mount St. Mary's IHSA Show on March 14 and then will host the IHSA Zone IV Region I Championships on March 15. It will be the fourth time since 2006 Goucher will host the regional championships (2007-08, 2012-13, 2017-18).
"We love hosting, said Smith. "It gives us a chance to show off our wonderful horses! That said, it's a lot of work to prepare all 26 of them, and manage them and the competitors all day, but we love it. Hosting regionals is always great too because we get home team advantage.
The IHSA Zone IV Championships are at St. Andrew's University in Laurinburg, North Carolina, on April 3-4 and the team will also compete in postseason events ANRC National Championships and IHSA National Championships.