Club Sports News

Two equestrian riders earn national IHSA scholarship awards

May 9, 2016  |  Lexington, Ky. 

Liberty junior Cassandra Steptoe (left) and senior Micah Armbrust (right) pose with Head Coach Jim Arrigon and junior Western rider Kayla Sims (second from left). test test test test
Liberty junior Cassandra Steptoe (left) and senior Micah Armbrust (right) pose with Head Coach Jim Arrigon and junior Western rider Kayla Sims (second from left).

Two team captains on Liberty University's equestrian program — one Hunter Seat and one Western rider — earned national academic and leadership scholarships from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association at Saturday's IHSA National Championships, held at the Kentucky International Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Micah Armbrust, a senior Western team captain from Columbus, Ohio, won the Emily Hilscher Memorial Award, named for an equestrian team member at Virginia Tech who was the first to die before the mass shooting that took 31 lives on the Blacksburg, Va., campus in April 2007.

Cassandra Steptoe, a junior Hunter Seat rider from Kingsport, Tenn., received the inaugural JT Tallon Memorial award named in memory of the winningest coach in collegiate riding history. Tallon, who coached at Southern Seminary for Women (now Southern Virginia University) and Randolph College, died from cancer last year.

Arrigon said out of approximately 12,000 collegiate riders from across the nation, only around 30 received IHSA scholarships, awarded annually, so to have two from the same school was unusual.

"Some are memorial scholarships, like the two our riders won," said Liberty first-year Head Coach Jim Arrigon, who also serves as secretary of the IHSA. "It is entirely fitting for a Liberty student to win the inaugural JT Tallon award, as JT was a close friend of mine."

He said the IHSA committee sorted through hundreds of applications, with recommendations from coaches and professors, and based its selections mostly on riders' academic performance and leadership skill.

"Both of these two are team captains for us, so that helped them," Arrigon said.

Armbrust and Steptoe were also two of Liberty's nine riders to receive IHSA National All-Academic honors last month.

Equestrian Links
Schedule
Results
Feb 23, 9:00 AM - Sweet Briar, VA
at
Equestrian
Hunt Seat @ Regionals at Sweet Briar College
DAYS
HOURS
MINS
SECS
Equestrian
at Hunt Seat @ Regionals at Sweet Briar College
Feb 23, 9:00 AM - Sweet Briar, VA

Equestrian
at Hunt seat @ Zone 4 Championships at UVA
Apr 6, 9:00 AM - Charlottesville, VA

Equestrian
at IHSA Nationals
May 2, 9:00 AM - TBD

Equestrian
at IHSA Nationals
May 3, 9:00 AM - TBD

Equestrian
at IHSA Nationals
May 4, 9:00 AM - TBD

Full Schedule

Nov 17
Equestrian
at Hunt Seat @ Christopher Newport University
3rd -Team Finish

Nov 3
Equestrian
at Hunt Seat @ Richmond University
2nd -Team Finish

Oct 20
Equestrian
at Hunt Seat @ Virginia Commonwealth University
3rd - Team Finish

Sep 30
Equestrian
at Hunt Seat @ Sweet Briar College
1st & 2nd - Gayheart

May 6
Equestrian
at IHSA Nationals
Mays - 10th Place

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