BALTIMORE, Md. – Courtney Morton (Clarksburg, Md./Clarksburg) led five Goucher College riders making their home debut with a pair of wins to pace the Gophers to the UMBC IHSA Show High Point Championship on Sunday.
Morton won both the open flat and open fences to earn the status of High Point Rider. Jordan Bell (Friendship, Md./Southern) (intermediate fences), Cole Jackson (Denver, Colo./East) (limit flat) and Eunoh Lee (Seoul, South Korea/South Kent) (introductory flat) also won events in their first showing on the Goucher campus while Noelle Gulley (Eldersburg, Md./Century) finished third in limit fences in her inaugural home show.
Courtney Sloan (Annadale, Va./W.T. Woodson) finished second in open fences and third in intermediate flat to qualify for the IHSA Zone IV Region I Championships in March.
Goucher begins its march toward its 11th-straight IHSA Zone IV Region I title after being named the High Point team with 43 points. George Washington was the Reserve High Point team with 37 points while Towson finished third with 32 points. University of Maryland, UMBC, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, St. Mary's College, Mount St. Mary's University, American University and George Mason University also participated in the event.
IHSA competition is broken up into five categories based on experience. The Open division has the most experienced rider, while intermediate is No. 2, limit is No. 3, novice is No. 4 and introductory equitation is No. 5. The top three categories include two sub-sections; the "flat" which is a pattern that does not include jumping, and a fences section. In addition, when teams are on the road they are using the horses at the home stable. The riders are judged on their ability to adapt, communicate, and perform with an unfamiliar horse. If you are familiar with equestrian terms and not a novice to the sport, IHSA changed the names for the classes of the bottom three classes over summer (walk trot was switched to introductory equitation, walk trot canter became novice and novice became limit). With these changes, senior Cherise Madrid is the last person to earn a national championship in the classification of walk trot in 2019.
Goucher returns to action on in a couple of weeks at the Goucher IHSA Show on October 26.