Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Eileen McNamara

Activities? I am the Resident Advisor for Stanton 3rd and 4th, the Head Resident for EECS quad, Captain of the Equestrian Team, and the Latin 101 TA.

My equestrian career: I have been riding for 14 years competing all over the country on the “A” circuit. I am a two-time national champion equestrian, 2003 and 2008. I will be the first rider to represent the Wheaton Equestrian Team in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals in Lexington, Kentucky as a competitor in the Cacchione Cup, May 5-9.

The coveted Cup:
The Cacchione Cup is an invitational showcase of the high point riders from each of the 31 regions in the nation, as defined by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. A ranking is developed based on the placings in classes at the shows we compete in throughout the year, and the rider with the highest total for each region is invited to Nationals. It has been an extremely competitive year to qualify for the Cacchione, and I am proud that all of my hard work paid off and that I will be able to represent Wheaton in Kentucky.

A horse of the “unknown”: Intercollegiate horse shows involve picking a horse at random that is provided by the hosting college that day, and no preparation is allowed. The rider is required to figure everything out about their mount while they are in the ring being observed by the judge. While it has taken me a few years to get the hang of it, I am now significantly more confident about this unknown quantity and have adapted my reactions and instincts to deal with the “x-factor” that is such an intriguing part of the IHSA.

I wouldn’t be here without: Wheaton College (specifically SGA) and their generous support of our program, Phyllis Cervelli and Holly Hill Show Stables, Amanda Hare and Sara Del Vecchio (my coaches) and my equestrian team. You are all inspirational to me in so many ways.

Eileen will travel to Kentucky with her coaches Amanda Hare (pictured at right) and Sara Del Vecchio, Wheaton equestrian team co-captain Andrew Rosenblatt and a personal cheering squad.