Mar 17, 2018

Oilers Eventing Flourishing in Ohio at the University of Findlay

By Sue King - University of Findlay
University of Findlay Eventing Team members cross-country schooling at a farm in Dayton.

The University of Findlay has a very active eventing program. The University of Findlay offers eventing as part of their Equine Studies college curriculum. Students get college credit for eventing! The Equine Studies program consists of classes at the James L. Childs English Riding facility and on campus. Some of the campus classes include reproduction, nutrition, physiology, judging, equine law, marketing, and barn management.

The program began in the fall semester of 2013. The collegiate eventing team at the University of Findlay has 23 members, and there are about that same number of students in the eventing program.

Morgan Stephans riding Lakota who is being kissed on the nose by Lily, the team's corgi mascot, held by Katie Barton.

Tryouts for the team take place in the first few weeks of fall semester. Team member experience ranges from never eventing to eventers that have ridden through the Preliminary level. Riders come from all over the country, especially when the word gets to them that they can get college credit for doing what they love!

The students spend about three hours a day at the farm, which is owned by the Univeristy. Freshman in the Equine Studies program are exposed to three disciplines – eventing, hunter/jumper, and dressage. During the spring semester they are grouped according to the discipline that they want to pursue, and Sophomore year they register with the instructor that teaches that discipline.

Miranda Losey and Tempo at the Hagyard Midsouth Horse Trials.

Students are allowed to board their personal horse at the farm as long as they use it as their “program horse.”  We have brought in off-the-track Thoroughbreds to train as eventers, and one of them competed last fall. Some of the horses that were here when our coach Sue King was hired as the eventing instructor for the University did not fit in well as hunter/jumpers, so she began working with them and they turned out to be great eventers! The University welcomes donations of horses to the program, and the program now has about 20 event horses, including two from Phillip Dutton!

One of the University of Findlay Eventing Team members clinicing with Carol Kozlowski.

Each semester we travel to several schooling shows and recognized events in Areas VIII and III, including Winona Horse Trials, Spring Bay Horse Trials, and River Glen Horse Trials, all of which have intercollegiate challenges. We take a groom along with us and she volunteers at the event and assists the riders. Some of our eventers will be competing at the Intercollegiate Championships this year!

In order to afford all we do the teams fundraisers include a tack sale, hosting a schooling show at the University, and volunteering at Cedar Point Amusement Park. We also have a budget with the school. The schooling show is a lot of fun and hard work. The eventers in the program organize the event and it is open to the community. All team members ride in the schooling show as well as volunteer, and we run one in the fall and spring. 

Katie Wilkens and Lenny.

Check out what some of our team members have to say about the University of Findlay Eventing Team!

“The Eventing program at the University of Findlay is perfect for any rider looking to challenge themselves and become the best equestrian the can possibly be.” – Reagan Emerson.

“I knew going into Findlay as a Freshman that I wanted to be a part of the eventing program, but what I didn’t know was the impact the program was going to have on me. I have found friends who share my same passion, been taught by a coach who truly believes in her students, and gained invaluable experiences that I would not have had anywhere else.” – Katie Wilkens

Please contact [email protected] for further information.

All photos courtesy of Sue King.

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.

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