Two great Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) equestrian team coaches will be recognized for their service and contributions to college riding and the horse industry on Saturday during the 44th IHSA National Championships, May 5-8, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington: the late James T. ‘JT’ Tallon (Southern Seminary, Randolph Colleges) and Lori Cramer (Miami University of Ohio).
JT Tallon is remembered as a pioneer in the development of college riding in Virginia, spending two decades coaching at Randolph-Macon Women’s College before retiring in 2011, and after nearly a decade coaching Southern Seminary (for Women) became the winningest hunt seat coach in its IHSA history. IHSA executive director Bob Cacchione has pledged a Zone 4 scholarship in the name of the former equestrian director, who will be remembered for coaching perhaps the most successful IHSA team of all time – Southern Seminary for Women in Buena Vista, VA, first as assistant to Russ Walther and later as head coach, taking ‘Sem’ to eight IHSA National Champion team titles in the 1980s, a streak that remains unmatched to this day. Tallon was a true fixture of the Virginia and college horse industries as a coach, trainer, course designer and judge. “Hunter courses are like Muzak in an elevator,” the posthumous recipient of the 2016 IHSA Pioneer Award once said. “You know it’s there but it should never call attention to itself.”
Cramer will become the 23rd recipient of the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented since 1993 to recognize the longstanding commitment of its coaches. Cramer is an IHSA alum of the University of Findlay who went on to coach Findlay to the IHSA Collegiate Cup team national title in 2001. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated from University of Findlay with an undergraduate degree in Business and Equine Studies and Master’s in Business Administration and later became director of English Equestrian Studies there, coaching the University of Findlay team during her four years there to the national title and two reserve national titles, as well as never finishing out of the Top Five. She coached the Ohio State IHSA hunt seat team to first in their Region and a rally at Zones; and served (for the first six years of her tenure) as head coach for the Miami Equestrian Team before currently serving as adviser to its coaches in addition to heading renovations and building projects at the stables. She is an IHSA Zone 6 Chair, sits on the USHJA Board of Directors and in December was recognized with the USHJA Presidents Distinguished Service Award.