I first met Moose (JC: Plain Brown Wrap) when he was an 18-year-old lesson horse in April 2020 in Texas. I was a 40-year-old mom of four young girls who had stopped riding before my 20s but had somehow convinced my husband to buy a pony for our girls two years earlier. But once COVID hit, to get some “me” time, I started taking jump lessons at the eventing barn where we boarded our pony.
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.
Are you an Adult Rider interested in competing in the Adult Team Championships (ATC) at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds, this Aug. 29–Sept. 3, 2023, at the Kentucky Horse Park? Start building team camaraderie and get valuable competition experience at your Area’s Adult Team Challenges!
In the fall of 2019, 7-year-old Collins Zgutowicz started her first pony partnership with Buck (show name: Bucks Well Spent). The former cart horse-turned-eventer spent almost three years teaching Zgutowicz the ropes at Pre-Amoeba, Amoeba, Tadpole, and Starter, gently reminding her to actually hold her reins and steer on the cross-country course, to wait patiently before two-pointing in the show jumping ring, and to effectively and precisely use her leg in the dressage ring. Zgutowicz and Buck bonded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the barn being a sanctuary during mask mandates and canceled after-school activities.
Valentine's Day—it's a special day dedicated to sharing your affection for your loved ones. At the USEA, we recognize who our members love most—their horses. Last week we asked our USEA membership a very loaded question on social media: what do you most love about your horse? We received over 150 responses sharing heartwarming tales and sweet sentiments from our members to their four-legged friends. Check out some of the standout submissions below!
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 each of them as they look back on their week in Ocala learning from the best of the best.
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.
For the sixth time in his career, Boyd Martin took to the stage at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention this past December to accept the Windy Acres Farm Trophy and the title of World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year. Claiming this title just once is an honor in itself, but to be announced as a six-time recipient is a true testament to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes all year round to conclude the season in such high standings. For Martin, the old saying, “teamwork makes the dream work,” is nothing but the truth when looking back at the 2022 season, which would not be possible without the massive team that stands behind him each and every day.
The USEA’s Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21) application process asks applicants to submit in writing a reflection on their past and current riding experiences. Applicants are being asked to develop a written history that provides the selectors with an opportunity to get to know each applicant from a personal perspective. Combined with submissions of videos and interviews that may be conducted with an applicant’s trainers and coaches, along with performance records, selectors will gain a more complete portrayal of the candidate’s horsemanship and riding skills.
Have you heard of the USEA's Emerging Athlete U21 (EA21) program? The EA21 program officially kicked off in the summer of 2022 with the five Regional Clinics that took place across the country, followed by a National Camp shortly after the start of the new year in Ocala, Florida. USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown sits down with EA21 Director of Coaching David O'Connor and EA21 Regional Coach Shannon Lilley to talk about this influential new program, how the Regional Clinics and National Camp were structured, and how they whittled down the field to 19 top young riders who would be invited to attend the first-ever National Camp.