USC Tops First HalfBy Staff Report March 5, 2012
The University of Southern California Equestrian Team finished the first half of the school year in first place for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s Zone 8, Region 2. “We had such a great year. The last four shows we’ve been the high-point champions,” Coach Karen Perlow said.
The timing couldn’t be better. The team has just announced its sixth annual fundraiser, a March 24 dinner dance at the Paddock Riding Club in Los Angeles. Country and western band Jimi Nelson and the Drifting Cowboys will entertain.
The team started the semester in second place, right behind Cal Poly Pomona, but then sailed past them to win with 235 points to Cal Poly’s 219. “We ran pretty much neck and neck the first semester, but they ended with a 13 point lead,” said Perlow, who also runs her own Grandview Farms based at the Paddock.
Two late season shows in the San Diego area were enough to nose USC ahead by three points. Then after two days of showing in Arizona in February, they pulled further ahead. “We tied for the high-point champion the first day and by the end of the second day had a 16-point lead.”
Rounding out the top six teams (and the only ones to break the 100 point mark) are: Arizona State University (197); University of California San Diego (181); Pepperdine (150); University of San Diego (121).
Pepperdine’s showing is particularly strong, given that it is the team’s first semester back after several years off.
“Pepperdine did well,” Perlow said. “They have really good open riders and they’re very competitive. They’ve been a great addition, and brought horses to the show, which is really helping out.”
The final show for the region before heading off to zone finals, is at Elvenstar in Moorpark on March 4. Zone Finals are April 7-8 at Stanford University and National Finals May 3-6 in North Carolina.
The team had a mini-fundraiser at the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal on Feb. 25 to coincide with the $53,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix CSI-W, for which two teammates sang the national anthem.
Funds raised go toward the team’s maintenance and show expenses, including leasing, grooming supplies, tack, veterinary care, coaches and insurance.
For more info, visit www.uscequestrian.com.
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