Jillian Newman’s journey to victory in the first-ever CCI1*-L held at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, in the 17-year-old rider’s first FEI competition began when she saw a Facebook post about Curraghgraigue Freeman (Freeman VDL x Curraghgraigue Vella Erri) in the spring of 2021.
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.
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.
The inaugural USEA Emerging Athletes 21 (EA21) program national camp wrapped up on Friday after a wonderful week of education and excitement. USEA Director of Coaching, David O’Connor led the camp with 19 selected athletes for the EA21 national program this year, which took place at Overlook Farm South, in Ocala, Florida.
It was back to show jumping for the final day of the 2023 USEA EA21 National Camp. This year’s participants kicked off the last day learning about course design and beneficial groundwork concepts.
The fourth day of the EA21 National Camp was all about everyone’s favorite phase: cross-country. The continuing themes of preparation and following the basic rules of riding as discussed throughout the week so far were applied as the riders traveled to the Florida Horse Park for a day of cross-country schooling following the morning lecture.
The third day of the 2023 USEA EA21 National Camp returned the focus back to dressage while still thinking about the general horsemanship necessary to be successful in every ride. Similar to what was discussed regarding jumping on the second day, the morning lecture touched on the importance of preparation in the dressage ring. EA21 Director of Coaching David O’Connor noted that riders should practice having maneuvers be visibly seen right at the letter, which means preparing before the letter and being finished with previous movements by the time the horse reaches the letter.
The EA21 National Camp continued on Tuesday for the second day of the five-day camp with a focus on show jumping. The day began once again with a lecture by EA21 Director of Coaching David O’Connor on the theory of jumping. The overarching theme was preparation: how to prepare the horse ahead of time to have the ability to solve a variety of puzzles, prepare before and during the approach to a fence, and prepare as a rider to execute the rider's responsibilities.
Starting off the year with the goal of improving themselves as equestrians, 19 young riders, selected from the five regional EA21 Clinics that took place in the summer of 2022, came together on Monday at Overlook Farm in Ocala, Florida, for the first day of the USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) National Camp. The weeklong camp which runs through January 6, 2023, got underway on Monday morning with an educational seminar led by EA21 Director of Coaching, Olympian, and U.S. eventing legend, David O’Connor.