Established in the spring of 2015, the FSU Eventing Team began with one rider and one coach. Since then we have been working hard to grow our team. This past year many of our members graduated, but we are very excited for fall 2018 because we have a string of talented riders coming our way. Our current and future members come from a wide range of riding backgrounds and levels. We welcome everyone, whether they are ready to compete as eventers or just want to learn more about the equestrian world. As a team, our primary goal is to provide opportunities to grow as an eventer and equestrian while also pursuing a degree.
While riding is a big part of our team members' lives, we are also actively earning degrees and staying involved in other organizations at Florida State. Topics of study for our members include Anthropology, Biology, Pre-Health, Pre-Vet, Psychology, Chemical Science, Environmental Science, and Family and Child Sciences. We are also proud of our alumni members who have earned Law degrees, Art History doctorates, and masters degrees in a range of areas. Our current members are heavily involved in organizations such as the FSU Honors Program, Pre-Medical Societies, or Pre-Vet Societies, just to name a few.
Sarah Mackusick and Deja Vu. Photo courtesy of the FSU Eventing Team.
Keeping in line with the Seminole Spirit of Florida State University, we have our fair share of appaloosas at our home barn. Pictured above is Deja Vu being ridden by our coach, Sarah Mackusick, and below is Toasted Marshmallow ridden by team member, Carlee Cefola.
Carlee Cefola and Toasted Marshmallow. Photo courtesy of the FSU Eventing Team.
Our amazing coach, Sarah Mackusick, is head trainer of Iron Star Equestrian at Littles Crossing in Havana, Florida. With over 25 years of riding and training experience and nearly 10 years of teaching experience, Sarah was the optimal choice for the Florida State University Eventing Team Coach. While several of our members ride and compete their own horses, Iron Star Equestrian has several experienced lesson horses who help bring eventing to new riders and collegiate riders who don't own their own horses.
Members of the FSU Eventing Team Executive Board breaking down dressage courts at Red Hills International. Photo courtesy of the FSU Eventing Team.
Every March we have the opportunity to volunteer at the Red Hills International Horse Trials. In previous years, our members have served as scribes, warm-up stewards, arena stewards, assistants to FEI stewards, jump crew, and worked in the vet box. This event brings the whole Tallahassee community together and serves as a fantastic learning opportunity for our members. In addition, our coach is the Dressage Coordinator for this event and alumni member Camille Byrd is the co-chair for cross-country.
Current and alumni members of the FSU Eventing Team taking a "jump selfie" with Will Coleman. Photo courtesy of the FSU Eventing Team.
We have exciting plans for this upcoming school year. This coming fall we plan on bringing our team to compete in one or two Intercollegiate Challenges. We also plan on fundraising with activities such as t-shirt sales, selling concessions at local shows, and bake sales. Every spring, we serve as volunteers at the Red Hills International Horse Trials and this fall we plan to add some additional service projects for our team members to be involved in. In addition, we hope to attend or host a few clinics with upper-level eventers this coming school year. We are looking forward to this next school year as we continue to develop our team and become more involved in the sport of eventing!
For more information about joining our team, visit our website. You can keep up with the team by following us on Facebook and Instagram @fsu_eventing.
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 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 Jessica Duffy to be featured.
It’s the most hotly anticipated few hours of the eventing year - the cross-country from Tokyo 2020. What will Derek di Grazia’s track have in store for the Olympic riders?
We’re nearly there! Olympic mania has taken over the world, and we’re in the final countdown to the Olympic eventing competition in Tokyo, which starts with the first horse inspection on Thursday. Our USA riders are raring to go, but let’s remind ourselves of the history that precedes them. Just how well has the US team done in past Olympics?
After Germany’s Michael Jung won the second of his two consecutive Individual Olympic Equestrian Eventing titles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he was asked what he had next in his sights. “Tokyo 2020, of course, and the Europeans and maybe the world title along the way!" he replied.
Very few stallions compete at the top level in eventing - let alone at the Olympics. Windfall did just that, winning a team bronze medal under Darren Chiacchia for the USA in Athens in 2004. The fact that Windfall now has not one, but two, sons due themselves to compete for the same country as their sire, the USA, in Tokyo really does make him one in a million.