Feb 11, 2019

Clemson Eventing and the Road That Lies Ahead

By Sammi Messamer - Clemson University
Members of the Clemson Eventing Team are all smiles before cross-country at Chattahoochee Hills! Tori Wofford Photo.

The Clemson Intercollegiate Eventing Team had a busy and exciting fall semester! It started with a bang with a large welcome to all of the incoming freshmen. We were excited to bring in our largest number of freshmen who have all become very active and enthusiastic members of the team. The team now has 43 members with more than 12 of them actively competing!

As the semester came in full swing we held several team meetings to start preparing for the school year ahead. We laid out all of our clinic dates, show dates, and team dinner nights. At the end of September we held a two-day team clinic that consisted of show jumping and cross-country with four-star eventer Allison Springer at the lovely Paradise Farm in Aiken, South Carolina. In this clinic Allison placed a large emphasis on the athletic stance of the rider and its connection to the performance of the horse. All of the girls had great rides and took home lots of homework.

Allison Springer after a fantastic day of cross-country schooling with team members (from left to right) Emily Martin, Mary Kate Grubbs, and April Crawford. Tori Wofford Photo.

October was a big show month for us. We were able to send two full teams to the Chattahoochee Horse Trials Intercollegiate Team Challenge. The Clemson Tigers team was in the lead starting Saturday and held onto it for the entire weekend, allowing them to win the challenge. The Clemson Orange team had great rides as well which allowed them to finish fourth in the challenge! We were also very proud of our new members for their individual achievements at Chattahooche Hills. Kelly Waters received the gold medal win for having the lowest individual score of all the intercollegiate riders and Emily Thomas took home the bronze medal score for dressage.

Team President April Crawford and Vice President Sammi Messamer celebrating a team win at Chattahoochee Hills. Tori Wofford Photo.

“I love that [the Clemson Intercollegiate Eventing Team] gives me the opportunity to be a part of a team in college. It’s given me the opportunity to meet a lot of my good friends. Riding, especially while being a full-time student, is a huge time commitment and being a part of the team has given me people to share that experience with. It was the most incredible feeling to have the entire team screaming for me when I finished my show jumping round. It was such a fun weekend getting to cheer on my team mates and represent Clemson. Obviously it was the icing on the cake to win!” said freshman Emily Thomas when asked about her first experiences being on the team.

“It was a fantastic first [Intercollegiate Team Challenge] back! It really set the mood for the team and what we strive for. It’s so encouraging being able to have supportive team members cheer you on and then being able to do the same for them. We also have amazing team parents that come and support us! We are VERY thankful!” said Team President and Clemson senior April Crawford.

Freshman Emily Thomas and Team President April Crawford were all hugs and smiles after Emily's win of the Novice division at Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials. Tori Wofford Photo.

Mid-November, Team President April Crawford and Team Treasurer Brooke Blankenship headed off to River Glen Horse Trials in Tennessee to compete on a scramble team with Transylvania University. Clemson Alumna Samantha Hay also came and competed on an alumni team! All three ladies had wonderful rides, albeit the cold weather. April Crawford won her Novice division and Samantha Hay won her Training division! The semester finished off with Team Vice President Samantha Messamer competing at the Thanksgiving Pine Top Horse Trials and bringing home an individual fourth place ribbon.

Clemson Alumna Samantha Hay and Team President April Crawford after two great dressage rides at the River Glen Horse Trials. Rachel Hay Photo.

The team also hosted two dressage clinics in November at Westwind Ranch and Stables in Anderson, South Carolina - one clinic with dressage rider Laurens Bissell and another with Jodi Lees. Both gave excellent instruction and we were very lucky to have them come to our area! The knowledge and skills taken from these clinics did not go to waste and were very influential in the teams rides at Intercollegiate Team Challenges at several horse trials.

The Clemson Intercollegiate Eventing team would like to thank all of our supporters and donators for everything that they have done for us! We are also very thankful for how much our team has grown and come together. After all of the successes of this semester, everyone on the team is very excited to welcome in the new year and all of the events that come with it!

Team Clemson Tigers on the right and Team Clemson Orange team on the left celebrating their wins at the Chattahoochee Hills Intercollegiate Team Challenge. Tori Wofford Photo.
Keep up with the Clemson Intercollegiate Eventing Team by following them on Facebookand Instagram @clemsoneventingteam.

About the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program

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. Click here to learn more about the Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

The USEA would like to thank FITS, RideSafe, World Equestrian Brands, and US Equestrian for sponsoring the Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

The USEA wants to feature your intercollegiate eventing team in our Intercollegiate Eventing Spotlight series! Please send your story and photos to Jessica Duffy to be featured.

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