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St. Andrews Equestrian Captures Individual Riding Title

Laurinburg, NC, May 06, 2009 --( St. Andrews Presbyterian College sophomore Rob Jacobs won the national championship for the Novice Over Fences Class at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals on April 23 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

“I am so proud of this young man’s accomplishments,” said Peggy McElveen, director of the St. Andrews Equestrian Center. “He rode with tremendous skill.”

Competing against 17 riders for the national finals, Jacobs stood in third place in the judges’ scoring when the group moved to a work off of the top five.

“Rob went back in with the full intention of winning it,” said McElveen. “He took risks and he made the risks happen. You can’t ride conservatively at the national championships and he did it and he did it beautifully.”

Jacobs agrees with McElveen’s assessment of his ride. “As I entered the ring for the work off the one thing that was on my mind was ‘ take as many risks as possible.’ I knew the judges were rewarding all properly executed risks, so I knew I had to step up to the plate as I was in third after round one. That’s what I did. I took all possible risks in the provided course.”

A year ago as a freshman, the sophomore politics major from Temple Hills, Md., did not garner enough points to qualify for the Regionals. But this year was different. Not only did he qualify for the regional competition, he went on to the Zone Finals where he ranked first among his fellow competitors, qualifying him for the national finals.

“The best part of the IHSA national experience is the ‘climb’ in getting there,” Jacobs said. “The journey getting there, with the practices, hard work, and dedication it took is what I will remember always. Winning was just the icing on the cake; it just proved what I learned from this year.”

McElveen lauded Sarah Rhymer, Jacob’s coach, for the way she coached her rider through the season and at the finals.

“I'm just very glad I could represent the college is a successful way,” Jacobs said. “Capturing the championship has placed many more thoughts of going into the equestrian sport and earning a profession doing so. I will go to law school and earn a law degree but I’m not sure where I will end up after that. Half of me wants to be a lawyer and ride as an amateur while the other half is coming me into the world of riding. But it’s not up to me; it’s in the hands of God.”


About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture to an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship have marked the distinctive character of St. Andrews. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews Online. St. Andrews was formed by the merger on Aug. 29, 1958, of Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to

In early 2008, St. Andrews Presbyterian College initiated a partnership with The Learning House, Inc. a total online education solutions provider, to assist in the development and launch of its online campus. Learning House will provide a customized package of online services, including a learning management system for eCourses, Tier 1 hosting and Help Desk services, custom course consultation, online marketing services, faculty and staff training, and consulting services.
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