PO Box 748
Versailles, Kentucky 40383
(859) 519-0949

Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association, Inc.


The Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association, Inc. (ISSRA) provides college students with an opportunity to continue riding saddle seat throughout college (or learn to ride saddle seat) and show the American Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian and other trotting breeds of horses traditionally shown in saddle seat classes, without the college or the student having to own a horse. ISSRA members and teams participate in saddle seat riding lessons at a local stable approved by the ISSRA and show horses provided by the riding school and college team hosting the ISSRA horse show.

Each ISSRA Team is paired with a local riding school or academy that serves as the teamís home base and provides riding instruction and team practices, horses and coaching at ISSRA horse shows. Beginners (with little or no horse experience) through advanced riders (who have won World or National Championships) are eligible to join ISSRA. ISSRA is the first intercollegiate equestrian program to offer saddle seat riding.


The Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association, Inc. (ISSRA) is a new organization founded in the late January 2008 by Sally Haydon, Ph.D. in Lexington, Kentucky. Development of the organization was prompted by ten college students from Eastern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, Morehead State University and Art Institute Online, who expressed interest in the formation of an organization promoting saddle seat riding and showing for college students. These 10 students are the founding members of the organization and include the following college students:

  • Jenny McGowan, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Elizabeth Smith, Morehead State University
  • Michelle McCune, University of Kentucky
  • Becky Keller, University of Kentucky
  • Katie Singleton, University of Kentucky
  • Katie Truman, Georgetown College
  • Alyssa England, Georgetown College
  • Myranda Elliott, Georgetown College
  • Stacey Breckel, Art Institute Online
  • Laura Bradford, Georgetown College

Although many of these students had previously shown in saddle seat classes at horse shows, others were interested in horses but had never ridden before or had ridden and shown in other disciplines of riding. Some of the students were members of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). Immediately after the students expressed interest, a group of riding instructors and trainers from central Kentucky and equine advisors from the universities represented became involved thus serving as founding riding instructors and college advisors for the association. The founding riding instructors and college advisors are listed below:

  • Sally Haydon, Ph.D., Director, Sunrise Stables Riding Academy, Versailles, Ky.
  • Melissa Moore, Owner/Trainer, Sunrise Stables, Versailles, Ky.
  • Melissa Johnson, Owner/Trainer, Mallard Farm, Georgetown, Ky.
  • Erin LeCompt, Riding Instructor, Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky.
  • Nancy Becker, Owner/Instructor, Shadow Run Stables, Lexington, Ky.
  • Stephanie Sedlacko, Riding Instructor, Shadow Run Stables, Lexington, Ky.
  • Andrea Stephanitis, Riding Instructor, Blue Willow Farm, Versailles, Ky.
  • Julie Kaufman, Manager/Instructor, Blue Willow Farm, Versailles, Ky.
  • Jenn Roytz, Advisor, Equine Scholars, Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky.

ISSRA Mission and Goals


The mission of ISSRA is to establish saddle seat riding teams at colleges and universities across the United States providing beginners through experienced and/or advanced riders with an opportunity to learn to ride or continue their riding and showing throughout college without the necessity of owning a horse while in college.


  • To stimulate new and continued interest in saddle seat riding
  • To establish ISSRA college teams and competitions in every state, and competitions for qualifying individuals and teams at the regional and national level
  • To provide riders with information and resources for further study in equine sciences or employment within the horse industry
  • To promote responsibility, leadership, good sportsmanship, work ethic, dependability and teamwork
  • To recruit and secure riding instructors and riding academies for college students which whom teach high quality riding lessons in a safe and professional environment
  • To provide students with a reasonably priced package of lessons, coaching and entry fees for at least one intercollegiate horse show by the end of each semester
  • To seek and secure extramural funding for program development and awarding of scholarships to riders
  • Promote the advancement and image of equine professionals and their services
  • Establish standards for ISSRA riding academies and instructors evaluating each for safety, quality and professionalism

Role of the ISSRA

ISSRA establishes rules, criteria and procedures for horse shows, and membership by riding schools, colleges/universities and students including the following:

  • Organization of colleges/universities into regions
  • Maintenance of official records of team and individual points from ISSRA horse shows
  • Organization of a governing ISSRA Board
  • Establishment of criteria and procedures for partnerships between riding schools, instructors/coaches and college/university riding teams/clubs and individual student team members for colleges/universities that do not have stables or a riding program