The 2018 Intercollegiate Eventing Championship will take place next weekend at the Virginia Horse Trials, May 24-27, 2018, and this week on the USEA Podcast we’re previewing the event with some members of the team who make this Championship possible!
Rob Burk starts things off with an overview of the USEA Intercollegiate Program, which was officially established in 2014 and has grown exponentially over the last few years and now encompasses 30 colleges and universities and 300 student-athletes. He also discusses how the intercollegiate program fits into the greater eventing pipeline and other plans for youth programs in the future.
Next, Leslie Threlkeld, chair of the USEA Intercollegiate Committee, talks about the importance of the Intercollegiate program and how it has strengthened the camaraderie between eventers at the college level, both on their respective campuses and within the eventing community at large. She also explains some of the outreach efforts the committee has undertaken to continue to grow the program and create more opportunities for collegiate eventers.
Virginia Horse Trials Organizer Andy Bowles shares information about the format the event will take and what collegiate eventers have to look forward to once they arrive at the Championship. He also talks about the local amenities that are available to riders competing at the Virginia Horse Trials and the team that will officiate the event.
John Michael Durr is the course designer at this year’s Virginia Horse Trials and he joined the team at VHT through their mentorship program three years ago. He speaks about his experience with the mentorship program at Virginia and some of the challenges he’s prepared for the riders out on course.
"No matter how old you are, be open to all disciplines, learn how to ride a dressage horse, a gaited horse, a show jumper. Go fox hunting and point-to-pointing and horse showing. You’ll learn from all of them and when you do decide which discipline you want to do, you’ll be better at it anyway.”
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.