Hollins Captures Old Dominion Athletic Conference Equestrian Title

For the 21st time, the Hollins University riding team has won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship.

Hollins topped five other schools during competition at the university’s Kirby Riding Ring on April 5 to earn its first conference title since 2013.

The quartet of riders representing Hollins at this year’s ODAC championship show included Randi Byrd ’18, Madi Hurley ’17, Madeleine Lohr ’19, and Allison Sherwood ’20. In addition to Hollins taking top team honors, Lohr earned her second consecutive All-ODAC designation and head coach Claudia Roland was named ODAC Coach of the Year for 2017.

 

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

Champion — Hollins University                       17 points
Reserve Champion — Sweet Briar College       16 points
Third Place — Lynchburg College                     12 points
Fourth Place — Randolph College                       9 points
Fourth Place — Washington & Lee Univ.            9 points
Sixth Place — Bridgewater College                     3 points

 

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Hollins Riding Welcomes New Head Coach

Hollins University has announced that Claudia Roland will become the head coach of the school’s equestrian program in January 2017.

Roland comes to Hollins from Palm Beach, Florida, and brings more than three decades of hands-on experience as a horse trainer, riding instructor, national and international judge, and program director. From 1977 to 2004, she owned and operated Fox Hollow Farms in Atlanta. She designed the barn as well as training and competition courses at the facility. Roland also oversaw all horse and rider training and lessons, and led Fox Hollow Farms in showing extensively throughout the southeastern United States.

Subsequently, Roland served as head trainer for eight years at the Wellington Show Stables and Sunlight Saddle Club in Stuart, Florida, where she designed and managed horse shows and instructed students in proper riding skills, horse care, and competition preparation. Most recently she has worked as a freelance trainer and international judge, conducting private hunter/jumper horse and rider training, and traveling to various locations to provide adjudicating services.

“Claudia is an accomplished horsewoman and trainer, and has a wealth of knowledge in horsemanship, equitation, and hunters,” said Director of Riding Nancy Peterson. “She has guided some of the top riders to qualify at the highest levels of competition, including the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Medal Finals and the ASPCA Maclay Regionals. She has also coached the winners of the South Carolina Hunter/Jumper Association Governor’s Trophy, the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Junior Hunters and Children’s Hunters Championship, and the prestigious Bryan Trophy.”

Peterson noted that Roland is one of the premier horse show judges in America. “She has been an ‘R’ Level Judge with the USEF since 1994, and has judged major events such as the International Hunter Derby Championships, the United States Hunter Jumper Association Pre-Green Incentive Championships, and the WEF series in Wellington, Florida, just to name a few.

“What an honor to have such a valued and knowledgeable horsewoman join the award-winning coaching staff at the Hollins Riding Center.”

“Hollins is thrilled to welcome Claudia to our coaching staff,” added Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer. “With her vast experience and expertise, we are certain Hollins’ equestrian program will continue to be one of the nation’s strongest.”

Hollins riders have captured 19 individual Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national championships, four Fitch Trophy/Cacchione Cup Individual National High Point Rider championships, and numerous Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Rider of the Year awards. As a team, Hollins has won two national championships, qualified for IHSA Nationals 12 times, and won the ODAC championship 20 times.

 

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Hollins Riders Shine at SWVHJA Horse Show

Maddy Lohr ’19 captured multiple honors at the 28th Annual Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association (SWVHJA) Horse Show, which took place November 4 – 6 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington.

Lohr earned gold in the SWVHJA Adult Medal Finals and was also named Younger Adult Amateur Hunter Champion; Best Amateur Rider; Grand Champion Children’s/Adult Amateur Hunter; and Grand Champion Adult Amateur Hunter.

Other standout riders for Hollins included Allison Sherwood ’20 won silver in the SWVHJA Hunter Seat Medal Finals and was Low Hunter Champion and Under Saddle Children’s Hunter Champion; Heavon Allen ’18 (fifth, SWVHJA Adult Medal Finals); Randi Byrd ’18 (second, Adult Amateur Hunter Under Saddle; sixth, Low Hunter); Madi Hurley ’17 (tenth, SWVJA Adult Medal Finals; second, Adult Amateur Hunter); Lucy Smith ’17 (first, fourth, Special Adult Hunter); Mimi Washburn ’19 (third, first, third, Special Adult Hunter; Under Saddle Special Adult Hunter Champion); and Kate McNamee ’17 (sixth, fourth, Special Adult Hunter).

This year’s SWVHJA Horse Show was dedicated to the memory of L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, who served for 16 years as head riding coach at Hollins and died unexpectedly last April. He was a seven-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. A 2006 inductee into SWVHJA Hall of Fame, Gerald was also a member of  the Virginia Horse Show Association Hall of Fame and the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame.

Photo caption: Sarah Brown ’13 (left), Hollins’ equestrian recruiting and marketing coordinator, with Maddy Lohr ’19.


Peterson, Gerald Honored with J. Arthur Reynolds Sportsmanship Award

Hollins University Director of Riding Nancy Peterson and the late L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, longtime coach of the Hollins equestrian team, have been named recipients of the J. Arthur Reynolds Sportsmanship Award.

The award, which honors two individuals who exemplify what sportsmanship, merited teaching, and mentorship mean in the horse industry, was presented during the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, held June 6 – 12 in Upperville, Virginia.

Peterson has been a part of the riding program at Hollins since 1972 and is a five-time winner of the ODAC Coach of the Year award. The Virginia Horse Council and the Virginia Horse Show Association have both named her Horseperson of the Year, and she has been inducted into the following halls of fame: Virginia Horse Show Association, Virginia Horse Center, Roanoke Valley Horse Show, and Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association.

Upon presenting Peterson with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association noted, “Nancy is often described as a dedicated and remarkable person with an unfailing commitment to the riding student, encouraging excellence not only in riding, but also in every aspect of their lives.”

An outstanding teacher and supporter over the years to so many Hollins riders, Gerald is remembered, both at Hollins and throughout the horse world, for his expertise, commitment, and positive attitude. Thanks to his leadership, Hollins continues to be one of the nation’s strongest equestrian programs and teams. A seven-time ODAC Coach of the Year, Gerald was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame in 2015. He is one of only two people to be twice named Virginia Horse Show Association Horseman of the Year.

Following Gerald’s death in April, Peterson told The Roanoke Times, “The man was an icon at Hollins. The minute he walked in the door he was so respected and revered. He was a…gentleman and a great teacher. He understood young people, he understood horses. He was an adviser to us all. He was a remarkable man.”

Now in its 163rd year, the Upperville Colt and Horse Show is the oldest horse show in the United States. The event is a designated world championship hunter rider show, and both the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame and the Virginia Horse Show Association have named it “Horse Show of the Year.”

 

Photo:  Betty Reynolds Oare (left), daughter of  J. Arthur Reynolds, and Director of Riding Nancy Peterson display the J. Arthur Reynolds Sportsmanship Award. 


Gerald Named to Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame

L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, head coach of the Hollins University riding team, has been inducted into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show (RVHS) Hall of Fame.

Gerald served as hunter/jumper manager for the RVHS from 2009 – 2014.

According to Lorrie McCloskey, a director of the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association (which sponsors the RVHS), Gerald “went way above and beyond in his dedication to making the show a success each year he served as manager. He shared his many talents and trademark positive attitude, and definitely went outside the parameters of the usual duties of a horse show manager.”

McCloskey noted that even though Gerald is no longer the horse show’s hunter/jumper manager, he continues to work with the RVHS as the organization seeks to hold an event in 2016.

“His commitment to the past and future success of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show is unparalleled. He is one of the most universally loved members of the horse show team, and a most deserving member of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame.”

Gerald is a seven-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006.