In honor of what would have been the fifth annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, let’s celebrate the past and learn how the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program has evolved into what it is today. Over the past five years, the program has grown into a national program with unparalleled enthusiasm and it first started in 2014.
2014 – The USEA Board of Governors approved the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program.
2015 – This was the first year of the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program. The first official intercollegiate team challenge was held at Poplar Place Horse Trials and was called the ‘Columbus State Team Challenge.' This team challenge had eight teams competing and USC Aiken took home top honors (the full results can be found here).
2016 – The inaugural USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships were held at Virginia H.T. in Lexington, Virginia. This was the first year of having a Championships and it saw eight schools, nine teams, and 37 competitors.
US Equestrian, World Equestrian Brands, and the USEA joined as sponsors of the program.
The USEA Intercollegiate Committee was formed in July 2016 with Andy Bowles as the Committee Chair.
The national USEA Intercollegiate leaderboards became active.
2017 – Out of the four years of holding a Championship, this year saw the most drastic increase in participation. The 2017 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships at Virginia H.T. doubled in size and it had 17 schools, 21 teams, and 84 competitors.
EasyCare and RideSafe joined as sponsors of the program.
The USEA Intercollegiate Committee Chair position transitioned to Leslie Threlkeld.
2018 – This was the third year of the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships and the third consecutive year for Virginia H.T. to host the Championships. The 2018 Championships had 18 schools, 23 teams, and 87 competitors.
The ‘Meet the Teams’ preview article was introduced for the first time on the USEA website and social media.
Virginia Horse Trials joined as a sponsor of the program.
2019 – In 2019, the Championships had a new venue, a new division, and new criteria for the Spirit Award. This was the first year the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships were held at Chattahoochee Hills H.T. in Fairburn, Georgia. The graduate division was introduced, and the Spirit Award had new criteria that included a series of small contests throughout the weekend. The 2019 Championships had 16 schools, 22 teams, and 89 competitors.
This was the second consecutive year for Auburn University to claim the Championship title and the second year for Texas A&M University to win the Spirit Award.
FITS, Flair, Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials all join as sponsors of the program.
Fresno County Horse Park submitted an expression of interest to host a future Intercollegiate West Coast Championships. The USEA Board of Governors voted to have a pilot year first showing participation from six different colleges/universities.
The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program was established in 2014 to provide a framework within which eventing teams and individual competitors could flourish at universities and colleges across the country. The USEA offers a discount of $25 on annual USEA memberships for current students of universities and colleges registered as Affiliates with the USEA. Many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges where collegiate eventers can compete individually as well as on teams with their fellow students. In Intercollegiate Team Challenges, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level to account for differences in level difficulty and then the individual scores are added together to determine the team score.
The first USEA Pony of the Year award was presented in 2007 to the legendary Theodore O’Connor (Witty Boy x Chelsea’s Melody), a Thoroughbred/Anglo-Arab gelding ridden by Karen O’Connor and owned by the Theodore O’Connor Syndicate. Now, a trophy bearing his name is presented each year to the Pony of the Year.
Following the popularity of Rules Open Forum held virtually during the 2020 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in December, the USEA Competitions, Calendar, and Rules Committee decided to host another Rules Webinar to share information about the extraordinary rule changes going into effect on April 1, 2021 and the rule change proposals being put forward to the USEF by March 1, 2021 for approval for the 2022 competition season.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
Chris Ryan’s initial assessment of this 3-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding is that he’s a “good quality sort. Brown is a great color – a strong color in ‘nature.’ One of the first questions I ask myself when evaluating a horse is if he has refinement. We know the breed type here is Thoroughbred but I still ask the question."