Since its formation in 2012, the University of Georgia (UGA) Eventing Team has experienced overwhelming success. The UGA Eventing Team has won seven of the nine collegiate challenges we have participated in and received more top individual college rider ribbons than any other team. The 2015 USEA Intercollegiate Leaderboards featured numerous UGA Eventers at all levels. With all of these achievements in such little time, the UGA Eventing Team attracts riders from all over the country. Team secretary, Jamie Yale, came to UGA all the way from Pennsylvania for the opportunity to compete on a top-notch Eventing team. “When choosing a college to attend, the opportunity to continue Eventing was extremely important to me. I decided to travel over 700 miles away from home to go to UGA and join their college Eventing team. Although attending college five states away seemed daunting at first, the lifelong friends and supportive mentors I have met has truly made it worthwhile. I could not imagine college without the support of my UGA Eventing family.” Riders from multiple states across the country are represented by the UGA Eventing Team, speaking to its ability to attract students from long distances due to its professionalism, competitiveness, education, and all around fun.
A Team Cross-Country Clinic at Chattahoochee Hills with Kyle Carter Last Year. Photo Courtesy of UGA Eventing.
The UGA Eventing Team is currently gearing up for another busy semester. Spring training will start with a cross-country clinic taught by international CCI4* rider Jonathan Holling at Chattahoochee Hills on February 6, 2016. The team will also be holding a show jumping clinic with Heather Steinman on March 19th at High Point Farm in Watkinsville, GA. The UGA Eventing Team prides itself on providing its riders with the best riding education taught by top professionals in Eventing, show jumping, and dressage. Team Vice President, Kendall Lee, said, “I have come away from every UGA Eventing Team clinic with another tool for becoming a better rider. I have never left a clinic without feeling accomplished.” We often open up a limited number of clinic spots to the public. This gives riders in the Athens, Ga area a great opportunity to learn from incredible professionals and get exposed to the collegiate Eventing experience. If you are interested in attending UGA and Eventing, keep an eye out for our upcoming clinics and come participate!
Whitney Granberry at a Poplar Place Farm Team Challenge. Photo Courtesy of UGA Eventing.
Each semester the team hosts its own training derby in which riding members compete against one another in a mock three-phase event. Our spring derby will be on February 21st at Ashland Farm in Covington, Ga. The training derby provides an excellent opportunity to practice the challenges of a horse trial in a safe and fun environment. Team members ride a dressage test that is scored by a certified dressage judge. Immediately after, riders receive feedback on what was great about their ride and what aspects need improvement. Members then complete a show jumping course and a condensed cross-country course. Each semester, the derby helps to assess the status of the riders in order to build strong, competitive four-person teams for the intercollegiate challenges. Members come away from the derby having something to work on before it all comes together at the intercollegiate challenges against other schools.
The team will be adding an additional event this semester, a fundraising show. The UGA Eventing Team is planning on hosting their first ever fundraising schooling show on March 5th at Silverthorn Farm in Athens, Ga. We are hoping to provide local riders of all ages and levels with a relaxed and supportive environment to practice show jumping and dressage. Profits from the show will go to the team and help continue to provide UGA Eventers with the best training.
Team Member Emily Cox Competing at Chattahoochee Hills. Photo Courtesy of UGA Eventing.
The team will end the semester by sending teams to not one, but four collegiate challenges. Team officer, Emily Cox (Pictured Above), has competed in multiple collegiate challenges since joining the team. “Competing in the sport of Eventing on a team has taught me the value of teamwork and dedication. No one wants to let their team members down. I’ve worked harder on myself and my horse than ever before now that I’m a member of a team. Having a team who relies on me encourages me to be better prepared for each competition and deliver my best performance at each show.” Each member of the team learns values and dedication that they would not have competing in events as individuals. The first of the college challenges is being held at Poplar Place Farm in Hamilton, Ga on March 25-27. The second intercollegiate challenge, hosted by Chattahoochee Hills April 9-10 is the UGA team’s main focus this semester. Chattahoochee Hills has been supportive of UGA Eventing and college Eventing as a whole since day one and was one of the first venues to host college challenges. This Event provides competitors with a world-class facility and incredible course designs. Next, we will be sending a team to the college challenge at FENCE on April 16th and 17th. Finally, the team is very excited about the opportunity to attend the first Intercollegiate Team Championship at the Virginia Horse Center on May 26th-29th. Having an end-of-year championships for college Eventing is a huge step, and UGA Eventing is very excited to be a part of it. It is very exciting to go from attending one college challenge a semester to the opportunity to attend four! The fact that college Eventing now has numerous universities with Eventing teams that are large enough to support multiple college challenges each semester is a very encouraging sign for the future of the sport.
Collegiate Eventing is critical for the overall success of the sport. With so many Eventers choosing to attend college, a need exists for these students to enhance their riding knowledge and skill sets while also pursuing a degree. This program will add more highly educated, skilled competitors to the U.S. Eventing scene. The UGA Eventing Team’s main goal is to provide top quality Eventing education to its riders while also understanding a college student’s financial and time limitations. The team creates a community of support for our riders. If you are having a particularly tough school week, there is always a talented rider willing to exercise your horse while you focus on school. Any college student understands how large a weight it is off their shoulders to not be worrying about their horse becoming un-fit while they spend days in the library. Freshman, Emily Cardin, knows firsthand how important the support of teammates is. “When my horse coliced the weekend of Thanksgiving, the support of all the girls on the team really helped me. With my vet in Massachusetts and not knowing where to take Storm, I could ask the team for help. For the next two days my teammates offered to sit with me at the hospital or bring me lunch so I wouldn’t have to leave. That kind of support system is an incredible thing to have when you’re so far from home. My experience with UGA’s Eventing team has been awesome so far and I can’t wait to see where it goes.” Being a part of a college Eventing team is truly a unique and incredible experience. I highly recommend everyone look into attending a college that fits both your educational and riding needs.
If you would like more information on the UGA Eventing Team, please email us at [email protected], visit our webpage www.ugaeventing.com. Be sure to check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to stay up to date with our happenings!
About the USEA Intercollegiate Program
In 2014, the USEA Board of Governors approved the creation of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program as an official program of the USEA. Originally proposed with input from the Intercollegiate Eventing League, the program was established to provide a framework on which Eventing teams and individual competition could flourish at universities and colleges across the country. Click here to see if your school is an University Affiliate.
Don’t forget if you have not yet renewed your membership with the USEA – Collegiate members get a $25 discount! Log onto your Online Services Account to renew, and a $25 refund will be issued after the USEA has received proof of enrollment.