The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the athletes selected for the 2023 USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21). This year's program received nearly 200 applications, proving to be a very competitive program in 2023. USEA Young Rider program members aged 21 and under are eligible for the program. The purpose of the EA21 program is to identify and provide consistent quality instruction to the next generation of elite event riders. The aim is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
Ayden Schain and Sarah Ross were two of the 19 young riders that participated in the first-ever USEA Emerging Athlete U21 (EA21) National Camp in Ocala, Florida, at the start of 2023. Ross came from the West, originally from Nevada and most recently training and competing in California. Schain came from the East, based out of Vermont. Both are now pursuing eventing full-time in Florida with Schain working for Leslie Law and Lesley Grant-Law and Ross with Zachary Brandt.
At the start of the new year, 19 young riders from all over the country embarked on a journey to Ocala, Florida, for the first-ever USEA Emerging Athlete U21 (EA21) National Camp led by EA21 Director of Coaching David O'Connor. These riders were hand-selected from the five EA21 Regional Clinics which took place in the summer of 2022 to have the opportunity to participate in a five-day, intensive training camp that addressed both mounted and unmounted lessons which would be critical to their development as young riders. Now that a month has passed by and each of the participating riders has had time to reflect on their experience earlier this year, the USEA is catching up with them as they look back on their week in Ocala learning from the best of the best. Hear from some of the EA21 National Camp participants and how the experience impacted their riding and their goals for the season and beyond below.
Applications for the USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program are now available. The purpose of the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 program (EA21) is to identify and provide consistent quality instruction to the next generation of elite event riders. The aim is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills in order to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
Next week, 19 young riders who previously participated in one of the five regional USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) clinics will gather together in Ocala, Florida for the first-ever USEA EA21 National Camp. Each of these riders were handpicked by the USEA's EA21 Task Force to participate in this continuing education opportunity led by EA21 Director of Coaching David O'Connor. The camp officially kicks off on Monday, January 2, 2023 and will conclude on January 6, 2023.
What are the six levels of the dressage training pyramid? This was the opening prompt to the riders on day one of the USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) clinic. Twelve athletes were selected out of 150 applicants to ride at Morven Park with Pan-American Games gold medalist and USEA Instructor's Certification Program (ICP) instructor Shannon Lilley. The USEA EA21 program's goal is to support an increased pipeline of young riders from the grassroots of eventing to the sport's top professionals.