2023 ANRC Champions Crowned in Aiken
Since 1978 the American National Riding Commission (ANRC) has hosted a yearly spring championship. Originally known as the Affiliate National Riding Coalition, the American National Riding Commission’s goals are to promote and teach the American Forward System of Riding to young adults around the country.
The competition is judged and scored on equitation and sound horsemanship practices. Unlike other collegiate formats, ANRC allows participants to utilize their own horse, a lease horse, or a school horse for the competition – allowing riders to build a partnership with their mount prior to competition and allows for schooling for the different phases prior to competition. High schools and colleges can enter multiple teams and individuals in two different divisions (National – 3ft and Novice – 2’6”). Each team can have a minimum of two riders or a maximum of three riders. Teams that consist of three riders drop the lowest score in each competition phase. The Championship consists of four phases and the highest score in each phase is awarded to the rider who demonstrates excellence in equitation and produces a smooth, cooperative performance exemplifying quality hunter movement both on the flat and over fences. The scores are then added to produce both individual and team standings. The four phases include: Written (based on riding theory and horsemanship well practices as dictated in the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Study Guide and Paul Cronin’s book titled ‘Schooling and Riding the Sport Horse’) which accounts for 5% of the total score, Program Ride/Flat Phase (includes USEF Equitation Tests) which accounts for 35% of the total score, an Equitation Derby (typically held on grass over natural type obstacles) which accounts for 30% of the total score, and a Medal Round (Hunt Seat Equitation) which accounts for 30% of the total score.
The yearly championships took a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021 during COVID. For its second year back in action, the 2023 Championship, presented by title sponsor, the WSJ Foundation, took to Highfields Event Center in Aiken, SC. The event saw 41 stunning horse and rider combinations during the 3-days of competition.
The Collegiate National Division was topped for the second year in a row by Celia Cram, a junior from Savannah College of Art & Design. Cram piloted Notable, owned by Kaycie Miranda, topping three of the four phases, the program ride, the derby (89), and the medal round (90). Celia was also the 2022 ANRC National Champion Individual at Centenary University. Reserve champion was Morgan Munz from Centenary University. Munz piloted Houdini, owned by Centenary University to second place in both the program ride and the medal round (89), and also claimed top spot in the written phase. The Savannah College of Art and Design – SCAD Bees team took home the National Championship, which included riders Celia Cram, Alex Alston, and Madison Aguilar. The Reserve National Championship team was the 2022 Champion team, Centenary University, riders Morgan Munz, Benjamin Hoban, and Caroline Mancini (2022 Individual Novice Champion).