Jul 24, 2018

Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards at Golden Spike Horse Trials: Tutvedt and Stubblefield in Top Form

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Andora Tutvedt and Sugar and Spice at the Golden Spike Horse Trials. Shutter Speed Photo courtesy of Andora Tutvedt.

Two United States Eventing Association (USEA) events call Utah their home and Golden Spike Horse Trials is one of them. Golden Spike Horse Trials on June 16-17 in Ogden, Utah hosted Area IX’s Charles Owen Technical Merit Award (COTM).

East of the Great Salt Lake and surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains; Ogden, Utah attracts adrenaline junkies, Wild West fanatics, skiers, snowboarders, and three-day event riders. Judged by Wayne Quarles, Andora Tutvedt on Sugar and Spice and Elyssa Stubblefield on A.F. Hermes were the winners of the COTM awards which rewards riders that demonstrate safe, effective, and appropriate cross-country riding.

Andora Tutvedt & Sugar and Spice

Growing up in Flathead Valley, a stone’s throw away from the serene beauty of Rebecca Farm, Tutvedt was exposed to eventing at a young age. “I would watch the event [at Rebecca Farm] when I was younger and fell in love with all the beautiful horses,” Tutvedt described.

Reflecting on her younger years, Tutvedt gave details on what it was like to grow up in Flathead Valley, a part of the country with an idyllic backdrop and a landscape so beautiful it’s hard to believe its existence. “I had a magical childhood of riding through the wheat fields bareback and jumping Pictor tracks.”

“I know her inside and out,” Tutvedt emphasized of her homebred, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare, Sugar and Spice (Pablito x The Spice of Life) also known as Holly in the barn. “I bred and raised Holly. She is my baby.”

Tutvedt credits her experience with riding various animals on varied terrain to the success and development of her cross-country riding technique. “Nothing teaches you balance like galloping down a hill trying to turn a steer!”

Tutvedt and Holly were the winners of the adult amateur Charles Owen Technical Merit Award and finished in second place in the Open Training division at Golden Spike Horse Trials.

Elyssa Stubblefield & A.F. Hermes


Elyssa Stubblefield and A.F. Hermes at Golden Spike Horse Trials. Photo courtesy of Elyssa Stubblefield.

“I have been riding before I could walk,” Elyssa Stubblefield, the junior winner of the COTM award, described of her riding background. “I absolutely loved [riding] and always wanted to be around horses. I joined Wasatch Pony Club, which brought me through the levels and to where I am now in my riding career.”

Stubblefield and her four-legged partner, A.F. Hermes, met each other for the first time on the day A.F. Hermes was born. “I was there in the stall with him in 2007 when he was born, my innocent six-year-old self watching in awe,” reflected Stubblefield.

“We grew up together and I think that is what makes us such a great team. We are so in sync when we are competing, we can almost read each other's minds.”

Small but mighty, A.F. Hermes is an 11-year-old Welsh pony that stands at 14.2 hands and who is “very talented, [a] smart jumper, and could jump the moon if he wanted,” gushed Stubblefield.

Stubblefield thanked her grandmother, Karen Stubblefield, for introducing her to horses and the passion for eventing. “I have been riding in events with my Grandma’s help since I was three years old.”

Stubblefield had some final thoughts on being the recipient of the award, “I wanted to say that I am grateful that Charles Owen is supporting young riders and allowing them to feel recognized. I also think it is really cool that [Charles Owen] is supporting riding ability and horsemanship. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the competition and want to thank all of my supporters for helping me get to where I am!”

Congratulations to both Elyssa Stubblefield and Andora Tutvedt on their wins of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award!

To see which event is hosting the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award in your area, please check out the 2018 Charles Owen Technical Merit Schedule.

About the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award

In 2009, the Professional Horseman’s Council in partnership with Charles Owen founded the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award to reward juniors and adult amateurs for demonstrating safe and appropriate cross-country riding technique and educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe cross-country riding.

The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is presented at one event in each USEA Area each year at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round on the five criteria listed below and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award. Click here to learn more about the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award.

The USEA would like to thank Charles Owen for sponsoring the Technical Merit Award.

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