CPI Florida Horse Show Sets the Stage for Future Success for College-Bound Equestrians

Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jan. 23, 2019 – College-bound equestrians from across the country, their families and coaches converged at the 9th Annual College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) Florida Horse Show Jan.17-20 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach.

At the premier college equestrian recruiting and educational event, young riders met coaches and admissions representatives from 35 colleges offering equestrian competition and equine science programs. Colleges and universities scouted talent during the CPI Horse Show, a collegiate format competition with levels that range from Walk-Trot through Advanced. Riders competed on loaned horses, sight-unseen, in a catch-ride format that provides an added challenge. Just as in the collegiate format, riders competed both individually and in the CPI Team Challenge.

CPI Overall High-Point Rider

Audrey Schulze. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography
Audrey Schulze, a 10th grader from Ridgewood, New Jersey earned the CPI Overall High-Point Rider award. Schulze competes in the Big Eq and trains with Brian and Jolene Cash. She decided to come to CPI with her friends.

“I think it’s a fun show,” Schulze said. “I looked at some of the colleges with the other girls from my barn. I wasn’t expecting to get high point rider.”

Schulze had some experience catch-riding Welsh ponies for breeders and brought her positive approach to her rides at CPI. “I just try to be kind to the horse and try to have a positive ride,” she said.
Schulze earned a Weatherbeeta blanket and cooler and a $500 CPI Scholarship.
Hope Swetow was the High-Point Open Division rider. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

CPI Division High-Point Riders


Walk-Trot and Walk-Trot-Canter
Emily Bertram, Lake Forest, Illinois, Grade 10

Ayden Turner, Fort Myers, Florida, Grade 8

Claire Willis, Montclair, New Jersey, Grade 11

Hope Swetow, Brooklyn, New York, Grade 11

Audrey Schulze, Ridgewood, New Jersey, Grade 10

CPI Spotlight Rider

Serinah Palafox, Staten Island, New York


Serinah Palafox rides at the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy in Brooklyn, New York and is a member of the Metropolitan Equestrian Team. Her coach, Jane DaCosta, won the CPI Top Trainer Award. Palafox earned a grant from the CPI Scholarship and Education Fund to attend the event. She has been riding for about a year and competes in the Walk-Trot and Walk-Trot-Canter divisions.

“I was super blessed,” Palafox said. “Never in a million years did I think I’d be here in Florida showing in front of colleges. It was like a dream. The organization is wonderful. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be here.”

Palafox is in the ROTC program at Richmond High School and is a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. She serves as the battalion commander, the highest ranking officer and leads around 100 cadets every day.

“My goal is to become an officer in the United States Army,” she said. Palafox is interested in attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at CPI, she met with West Point coaches Sherry and Peter Cashman, and also explored her options at other schools.

CPI Clinic with Chris Mitchell

Many CPI riders participated in a mounted clinic led by Chris Mitchell, head coach of the Randolph College equestrian team. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

CPI Team Challenge Winners

The CPI teams were comprised of a random cross section of riders from each division. Each team was assigned a color, and together, they chose a team name and a point rider. The team challenge was an opportunity for CPI riders to meet other riders from all over the country and to offer an experience similar to what they might have as part of an Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association team. The Yellow Jackets Team won first-place honors. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

CPI Educational Seminars

Randi Heathman. Photo by EQ Media

New this year, the event kicked off with a welcome reception and educational program. Randi Heathman from Equestrian College Advisor spoke to the audience of students and parents.

“I think it’s hard to be a kid these days,” Heathman said.”I continue to support this event because I feel like we’re all in it together. We’re all supporting these students and we’re all asking them questions that they need to ask themselves.”

CPI Scholarship Winners

CPI ESSAY AWARD WINNER Emme Wilson, Orange, California, Grade 10
Emily Forshee, Erieville, New York,
Grade 12

CPI thanks Dover Saddlery for providing gift certificates for all the participating riders, and Healthy Coat for contributing products. Horse providers were supplied with Platinum Performance supplements and gift certificates for Purina feed.

“We want to thank our generous sponsors, the participants, their parents and coaches, the colleges, the providers of our wonderful horses, our staff and volunteers,” said Lindsay Martin, CPI president. “We strive to provide a way for young equestrians to fulfill their dreams for the future.”

Plans are underway for CPI Florida Horse Show March 16-17 and CPI New Jersey Sept. 21-22.

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