Mar 17, 2024

Membership Minute: How Lucky I Am to Have My Horse

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff

Sometimes all it takes is a little luck on your side to make your dreams come true. We recently asked our USEA membership to share why they feel so lucky to be partnered with the horses they compete with, and we received over 100 heartwarming stories! We compiled some of our favorites below in celebration of today’s luck-themed holiday.

Ariah Transmeier and Bold Remark

Photo courtesy of Ariah Transmeier

“I wanted to quit jumping before this horse came into my life. I’m so lucky to have a horse with so much heart and traveled across the U.S. with me and took me places I’ve never thought I’d get to go."

Jeannette Lussi and Rock’N Ranger

Photo courtesy of Jeannette Lussi

“Grateful would be an understatement. We have come a long way, having only started to event four years ago. Rock’N Ranger knows how to take care of me while I navigate remembering tests and courses, which for a 61-year-old has its own challenges. There has never been a bad day on him. Thankful for the everyday rides, the successes, and sometimes losses, but mostly for a bond that keeps growing. How lucky am I?”

Alexa Ryan-Oat and Kohala

Photo courtesy of Alexa Ryan-Oat

“My horse Kohala and I came together in early 2022. We began our partnership when I was at a low point in my riding, lacking a lot of confidence over fences. She has taught me how to trust again, gain my confidence back, and so much more. She’s my best friend, and I can’t wait to spend many more years together going up the levels.”

Emma Lomangino and Master Frisky

Nicole Severino photo

“My Irish boy, Master Frisky, gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to play at the five-star level of the sport, and we have experienced so much joy doing it together. Now that he is 20, we occasionally play at Intermediate and below, dabble with Prix St. George dressage, and enjoy a lot of long walks together. Sometimes it feels like we think with the same brain cells; eight years of partnership spending all day every day together, both quiet days in the barn and taking on some of the toughest tracks that can be built has forged an intense bond. I’ll be forever grateful that he and I have been able to belong to each other.”

Emily Watson and Kilcandra Prince Dignified

Photo courtesy of Emily Watson

“At 58 years young I never thought I would be competing at the upper levels again. In 2018 I was fortunate to find this Irish boy as an unbroken 3-year-old and brought him through the levels to Preliminary. He is the safest, most genuine horse I have ever had. Of course, being an event rider, this journey hasn’t always been an easy one as there is always more to learn! Anyone can ride Digger as he is a complete gentleman. I’m lucky to have the big pumpkin in my life! He will certainly celebrate St. Paddy’s Day!”

Jessica Bowen and RF Chaucer

Photo courtesy of Jessica Bowen

“I believe I’m lucky to be with my horse, RF Chaucer because as we head into his 20th year I’ve been with him since he was born. It has truly been a rewarding experience to start this boy from the ground up and compete up to and successfully at the Preliminary level. As he was experiencing his firsts throughout his life, I was always there with him. Hunters, jumpers, dressage, competitive trail riding, foxhunting, and outriding at multiple steeplechases; Chaucer bravely does it all. Last summer we competed at our first [USEA American Eventing Championship] together and came home 12th in a huge Beginner Novice division. And I’m still lucky to have him as my main partner. Thank you Chaucer!”

Alex Pistocco and Carpe Diem

Hannah Lujbli for Erin Gilmore Photography photo

“Saying that I am extremely lucky to have my horse is a massive understatement. Going on 24 years after getting to experience his birth, Carpe Diem has not only met but far exceeded every hope and dream I have ever had. He has offered me solace and been my companion when life threw its curveballs, and he has been my greatest source of many celebrations. Excelling at whatever discipline and challenge we decided to try, he has done it all, from search and rescue to fox hunting, jumping, and eventing. With his lovable, yet opinionated at times personality he always manages to make people laugh and win them over with his gentle giant spirit. Carpe Diem's compassionate nature has a way of touching everyone he meets, making him not just a horse, but a beloved member of the family.”

Jaime Miller-Vail and Charlemagne

Zenya Lepper for Erin Gilmore Photography photo

“Charlie came into my life when I was least expecting him, and I am beyond lucky that he did. I was a college student on a budget at the time, and he was a hidden gem looking for a job. This horse quickly helped me find my spark again when I needed it most when I was starting to lose my love for this sport. He always tries his heart out for me, he always wants to outdo himself, and he always shows me what this sport is all about. Charlie has taken an anxious and timid rider barely making it through Novice and helped her become a confident and courageous young professional with goals of competing at the CCI1* level and Preliminary by the end of the 2024 season. Charlie is the kind of horse that I hope every young rider gets to experience at least once in their riding career, the horse that they feel grateful for every show, every jump, and every ride.”

Emily Maner and Contender

Alison Green for Shannon Brinkman Photography photo

“My heart horse Contender. I just lost him a month ago but he will always remain the love of my life. We went from Beginner Novice to Intermediate together, and he was truly my best friend. He left this world never having a cross-country jump penalty. Miss him more than words can say.”

Merrilyn Ratliff and Koda Bear

Photo courtesy of Merrilyn Ratliff

“I am so lucky to have found my BEARST friend in my horse Koda Bear. He gives me the confidence to do things way out of my comfort zone, and has taught me to be an understanding, flexible, thoughtful partner, and also to live in the moment! He is far from perfect, and so am I, but we are each other’s weirdos. I love him tremendously.”

May 24, 2024 AEC

Three Months Until the Start of the 20th Anniversary USEA American Eventing Championships

The 2024 United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is just over three months away, which means it is time to start planning your trip to Lexington, Kentucky! For the second year in a row, the AEC, which is brought to you by the USEA and its organizing partners at Equestrian Events, Inc and Mary Fike, will return to the iconic Kentucky Horse Park from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1.

May 24, 2024 News

Athletux Signs on as Bronze Sponsor for 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is pleased to announce Athletux as a “Bronze Level Sponsor for the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)” taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 27- Sept. 1. Athletux will also be the “Official Commentary Provider” at the AEC, offering commentary for the upper levels at the event. All levels of the AEC will be live streamed.

May 23, 2024 Eventing News

Weekend Quick Links: May 25-26

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.

May 23, 2024 News

Christina Gray Shares How ShowConnect is Shaping the Future of Event Management

Christina Gray has been working in the horse show office since the mid-90’s. What started out as her lending a helping hand at her local horse trial turned into a full-blown career after Gray graduated from college and founded her own Gray Area Events, LLC.

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