The John Carroll School Equestrian Team will host its first Interscholastic Equestrian Association Show at Claddagh Manor Farm in Churchville on Saturday. The show is open to the public.
Saturday's competition, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will also feature teams from St. Timothy's School and Garrison Forest School, according to Dennise Moran-Petronelli, the John Carroll coach and owner of Claddagh Manor Farm. The farm is at 1114 Calvary Road.
John Carroll's equestrian program has been "such a draw" for students to attend the school, said Moran-Petronelli, who has been involved with the team for six years and whose daughter is a John Carroll graduate.
John Carroll's first equestrian team was developed shortly after the opening of the school in the late 1960s and competed for several years, according to information provided to The Aegis by Kerrie Brinegar, the mother of a team member. The team was reinstated in the spring of 2005 and mainly competed in local hunter/jumper shows.
During the 2007-08 school year, the John Carroll team became a member of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, or IEA, a national equestrian association with high school level competition. Since then, the John Carroll program's main focus has been on IEA's internationally organized competition schedule.
The association is broken down into zones. John Carroll competes in Zone 3, which encompasses Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Each year, John Carroll riders have qualified as a team and as individual riders for Zone 3 finals. John Carroll also sent a rider to the IEA National Competition in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to Brinegar.
Each school within an IEA zone is required to host a show. The competition season runs from September through April and competition is based on Hunt Seat equitation on an unfamiliar mount. The draw format is challenging, even for the most accomplished of riders, and improves the horsemanship of all riders, according to Brinegar
The John Carroll Equestrian Team has been participating for several years in the tradition of assisting the Elkridge Harford Hunt Club raise funds for the St. James Church Food Bank in Monkton.
On Thanksgiving Day, during the annual Blessing of The Hounds, the team members volunteer their time collecting donations from spectators and fox hunters to benefit the food bank. All participating team members receive service hours for this effort.