Academy of Holy Cross

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The Academy of the Holy Cross Equestrian Team started as a club sport and gradually developed into a varsity sport in the early 2000’s. Katrina Dodd came on board as the program head and varsity coach in 2014 along with Carly Easton as coach for JV.

The team has in the past competed within the Interschool Horse Show league (ISHS). Last year 36 teams competed and both JV and Varsity ended up in third place respectively for the year. Both teams have consistently finished in the top ten each year and all AHC riders have qualified each year for the Invitationals.

This year we are moving to the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). The IEA is a nationwide organization spanning over 42 states and currently has 40,000 members, divided into 10 zones. Riders will ride at various barns across their zone gaining points both for their individual team and as individual riders. Qualified teams and individuals proceed to Regionals, then Zones, culminating in a National Finale which this year will be held in Lexington KY, April 2016. 

The IEA is open to riders in Middle and High School, the AHC Team this year consists of 13 High School girls. The lowest division for High School riders is an over fences class over x-rails, and/or a flat class at walk, trot and canter. The highest class over fences is a course of jumps at 2'6" and/or a more complex w/t/c class on the flat.


Katrina Benson Dodd

katherine dodd

Head Coach for the Academy of the Holy Cross Equestrian Team, CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor

I am new to Waredaca but have been teaching and riding for as long as I can remember. I love teaching and sharing my passion and knowledge with others. I am lucky to be able to do so - not many people can say their passion is also their job!

Originally from Bergen, Norway I started my life with horses at a small barn for training harness racers. At that point, all I wanted to do was be near horses and loved every minute of it. I quickly figured out though that sitting behind them in a cart was not for me. I wanted to ride! So from there I rode trails (aka mountains in Bergen) for several years before I discovered show jumping and my first mare, Miss Scarlett.

After formal training in the UK with ABRS (Association of British Riding Schools), I moved to the US and began riding at a local barn, Reddemeade. There, I became an instructor, camp director and coach and started the JEL team (Junior Equitation League) . I am now also the coach the Reddemeade Hunter Jumper team.

I am a level 4 certified riding instructor through the Certified Horsemanship Association and also an Assistant Clinic Instructor with CHA. This takes me to North Carolina most years in May for a week to help certify new instructors. I continue to expand my own knowledge and skills through periodic clinics with Ulf Wiltfang and am in regular training with Jane Seigler.

In 2014, I was given the opportunity to take over as Varsity coach and equestrian program head for the Academy of the Holy Cross equestrian team by former coach/program head Katherine Rizzo (also a Waredaca instructor). This team practices at Waredaca each week, and so I was introduced to Waredaca!

Carly Easton

carly bio1

Assistant Head Coach for the Academy of the Holy Cross Equestrian Team

I began my riding career by participating in the discipline of Eventing, but when I decided to attend The Academy of the Holy Cross in 2006 I quickly joined their ISHS Hunt-Seat Equitation team. I rode at the Varsity level all four years and became the team captain my senior year. In 2010 I left for North Carolina where I attended High Point University and joined their IHSA Collegiate Hunt-Seat Equitation Team. That year was our team's first year competing in IHSA where we finished in a respectable 7th place overall at the end of the academic year.

When I returned to High Point the following year I was elected captain of the team where I served for both my sophomore and junior years. At the end of my sophomore year our team made huge improvements, finishing in 3rd place overall behind long-standing teams in our region, Virginia Intermont and Virginia Tech. Although my true love is still eventing, I have a vast knowledge of the hunt-seat position and enjoys the competitiveness of the sport.