As they hiked through the Galway Irish countryside, Shelley Bridges and John Whelpley soon found themselves amid a herd of curious Irish Draught mares grazing calmly around them. Bridges, an endurance rider extraordinaire with a well-known, educated eye for all things horse, noticed one of the mares in particular and said, “What about that one?” and our unlikely story began.
Kimberly Crane never expected she’d find her next eventing partner eight years ago after her farrier Matt Davis offered to let her sit on a Princess Buttercup, a 15.2-hand Gypsy Vanner-Clydesdale cross he’d gotten from a rescue for his wife.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes U21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the EA21 national camp this winter.
It had been decades since Barb Nikolajczyk had sat on a horse due to family and career aspirations, but 16 years ago, a stop at her cousin Sharon Church’s farm in Culpeper, Virginia, on the way to the Outer Banks for vacation led to a renewed interest in her passion. Nikolajczyk didn’t have much time to pursue hobbies as she and her husband raised their two sons and while she worked towards a PhD and post doctorate work in the field of diabetes research in the suburbs of Boston, but that first trip to Virginia stuck with her.
The last of five EA21 Regional Clinics just wrapped up, so what better way to get the scoop on the EA21 program than by chatting with some actual EA21 riders? This week USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown sits down with EA21 East Coast rider Camryn Chung, EA21 West Coast rider Kayla Dumler, and EA21 Central rider Emeline Gilbert to discuss the clinics, their biggest takeaways, the friendships they made along the way, and more.
Tuesday’s building blocks laid a strong foundation for riders to grow from on the second day of the USEA Emerging Athlete (EA21) East II Clinic, held at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina. Similarly to the first day, clinician Emily Beshear explained that her goal was to give riders a variety of tools for a variety of situations—some which might solve problems today, but others that may come in handy in the future.
Emily Beshear encouraged riders to get creative and think outside the box on the flat in the first day of the USEA Emerging Athlete (EA21) East II Clinic. Twelve hand-picked participants worked with Beshear, a USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coach, at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina.
After years spent as a professional rider working with young and difficult horses, Jayne Lloyd knew what kind of sport horses she wanted to produce when she got into breeding 12 years ago—competitive, rideable, and trainable that would be suitable for amateurs.
When Mia Valdez first met Perfect Storm, he was meant to be a lesson horse at her barn, but “Tempe” didn’t take to the lesson horse life, and after a few rides together, Valdez knew he was meant to be hers.
The pair have been together for four years and made their Preliminary debut this year, but when Valdez first got Tempe, neither had any eventing experience.
A good canter with a consistent rhythm was the key to success during day two at the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) West II regional clinic at Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington. During the morning lecture that kicked off the day's educational activities, Brown recounted a lesson that she was taught by U.S. show jumper and Olympic gold medalist, Joe Fargis, that "there is no smoke and mirrors in riding. If you sit on the horse well, the horse will go well. Simpler is better." Brown built on this theory throughout the rest of the day, consistently returning to the German training scale and reliance on the flatwork to find success over the fences.
This week, USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) and ECP Level IV coach, Rebecca Brown of Dallas, Texas, is back on the West coast at Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington to teach twelve talented Young Riders at the EA21 West II Regional Clinic. Day one started with a dressage lecture from Brown, which focused on the German training scale and the varied uses of each part of the rider's body in communicating with their horse. These themes were then translated into the dressage lessons that followed throughout the morning.