At the heart of the bluegrass state sits Transylvania University, one of the top 100 liberal art schools in America and home to Transylvania University’s Eventing Team. Head coach, Tanya Davis, works round the clock at her barn, Three Day Farm, to keep the team in top shape. Transylvania University, fondly known as “Transy,” was founded in 1780, making it the 19th oldest university in the country. The eventing team was founded in 2012 as a varsity sport at Transylvania. Since then, the program has grown and matured drastically. The team has racked up a number of wins along with its riders getting national recognition.
Transy’s eventing team currently consists of varsity and junior varsity teams, with all riders given the opportunity to compete regularly. The varsity team typically completes ﬁve events a year with two horse trials in the fall and three in the spring. Being that Transylvania is a Division III school, the eventing team is the school's only opportunity to compete alongside Division I schools such as the University of Kentucky. The riders have the opportunity to compete in a number of diﬀerent states and ride at beautiful venues. In order to ride for the varsity team, the riders must take at least one lesson a week from Coach Davis. However, they can board their horse wherever they choose. Coach Davis’ facility, and home base for Transylvania’s Eventing team, is located in Midway, Kentucky, which is a 25-minute drive from campus.
Along with regular lessons and traveling for shows, the riders organize cross-country schoolings throughout the year, both locally and at River Glen Equestrian Park which is located in New Market, Tennessee. In the spring, the team participates in a volunteer day where they choose a non-proﬁt equine facility to work and learn. Transy will also have a booth at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in April to provide more information on the program and have face-to-face conversations with the coach and riders.
The Transylvania Eventing Team strives to provide the best experience for both horse and rider. The program proves to be very inclusive with options for riders to compete with the junior varsity or varsity team. Transylvania itself also oﬀers an athletic scholarship to riders who are eligible. Entry fees and stabling along with gear for both horse and rider are also covered by the University for the intercollegiate events. And to top it all oﬀ, Transylvania University is located in what is commonly referred to as the “Horse Capital of the World.” Lexington has been known for its rich equine industry which provides the riders with limitless opportunities.
Since the team's humble beginning in 2012, the team has had massive success. 2019 graduate Abby Blackburn was the USEA Intercollegiate Novice Rider of the year in 2018 with her mount Dior. Blackburn also made history last spring when she was named Transylvania University’s Female Athlete of the Year. This was the ﬁrst time in history where a university recognized an event rider for the award. Blackburn beat out other athletes in sports including volleyball, softball, and track. This past November, the team won River Glen Horse Trials with all four riders having a successful weekend. They beat out 13 other teams for the win, including other Division I and II schools. And to top oﬀ their wildly successful season, three riders were nationally recognized in the USEA Intercollegiate Novice Rider list for 2019. Blackburn, Maddie Cease, and Amanda Haw all placed within the top 10 on the prestigious list. Transy is proving to be a ﬁerce competitor in the intercollegiate division of the sport.
Overall, Transy’s eventing team is looking forward to having another successful season in 2020. The team is also working to educate others about the sport of eventing, and is always looking to add more riders to the program.
If you are interested in gaining more information about Transylvania’s eventing program, located at the heart of the bluegrass state, please contact Coach Davis at [email protected].
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 and many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges throughout the year, 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. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score. Click here to learn more about the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program.
The USEA wants to feature your collegiate eventing team in our Intercollegiate Eventing Spotlight series! Please send your story and photos to Claire Kelley at [email protected] to be featured.
Tomorrow, the first of five regional clinics for the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) Program kicks off in the central region of the country in Benton, Louisiana, at Holly Hill Farm. Throughout the summer, the remaining clinics on the East and West Coast will follow. At each clinic, 12 hand-selected riders will participate in a two-day clinic led by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coaches. The purpose of the EA21 program is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.
Stone Gate Farm Horse Trials, located in Hanoverton, Ohio, announced they would cancel their fall horse trials, which were scheduled for Sept. 23-24.
Morgan Rowsell had just wrapped up organizing a successful Essex H.T. in Far Hills, New Jersey, on June 4, but as he turned his attention to his next show two weeks later, he was faced with challenges presented by the effects that wildfires from Canada are now having on equestrian sports in the Northeast. “The very next day, the smoke came in,” he said. “It looks like a warm, humid, hazy day, but it’s not humid, it’s not warm, it’s actually quite cool. There’s no air. There’s very little breeze. There’s a northeast wind coming out of Canada that is bringing all the Novia Scotia and Quebec smoke to us, and it smells like smoke.”