May 29, 2021

Randolph-Macon Fights for First Championship Title, UK Close Behind at the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets Team rider Sydney Guy. USEA/Kim Beaudoin photo.

Today was taken over by the Yellow Jackets as Randolph-Macon College came out in full force at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Va. From decorated golf carts and team mascots to top scores, the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets Team of four is holding the top spot going into the final day of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.

Based in Ashland, Va., Randolph-Macon College is no stranger to competing at Championships. In 2017, Randolph-Macon finished eleventh on a scramble team, in 2018 Randolph-Macon finished tenth. They were absent at the 2019 Championships, but, this is their year to shine as they have two teams and strong scores going into tomorrow.

The leading team out of 27 other teams consists of Morgyn Johnson on Peter Parker GS in the CCI1*-L, Austin Skeens on What Gives also in the CCI1*-L, Holly Shade on Hang on Caitlyn in the Modified, and Sydney Guy on Renegade in the Beginner Novice.

Morgyn Johnson and Peter Parker GS in the barn. USEA/Kim Beaudoin photo.

“Being a part of Randolph-Macon is one of the best experiences of my life,” said Morgyn Johnson who holds the best score on the leading team. “The team is so great, everyone is so supportive of each other and, as you can tell with [the opening ceremony} last night, we definitely don’t lack in team spirit. It’s really great - whether you have a good day or bad day - there is always someone there to boost you up.”

Johnson is currently sitting second in the CCI1*-L on a score of 30.2 with her own Peter Parker GS. “He was really great, he is such an honest horse, and such a superstar. He took every question in stride,” said after her double-clear cross-country ride. “I’ve only had him for a little over a year. He’s really taken everything in stride. He’s improved so much in the last year, so I’m really happy with him.”

The rising senior is majoring in business management with a minor in communications and was named the USEA Intercollegiate Training Rider of the Year in 2019. Mastering the balancing act between horses and school, Johnson explained how she does it all. “We have a coach for our team, Ashley Adams, she’s fantastic. She helps me If I don’t have time [to ride him] just because of classes or finals, she will definitely help me out in that way, or even some of my team members [will] help me out,” said Johnson. Basically, the biggest thing is getting a schedule and making sure you stick to it. It’s definitely possible to ride and be in college, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!”

The 2021 Opening Ceremony. USEA/Kim Beaudoin photo.


Similar to the scenes from last night’s opening ceremony, the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets and the University of Kentucky Wildcats are fighting for the top spot. The Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets Team is on a team score of 87.79 but the University of Kentucky Wildcats Team is close behind on a score of 90.41 going into tomorrow.

The University of Kentucky who has come very close to winning the Championship title has brought their A-game with 8 full teams. The Wildcats Team of four consists of Cosby Green on McCreary in the Training Horse division, Ivie Cullen-Dean on Redfield Lorimer in the Open Beginner Novice Horse division, Caroline Dannemiller on Fernhill Dreaming in the Modified B division, and Abbey O’Day on Casper 385 in the Novice Rider B division.

The teammates, Cullen-Dean and Green, both have multiple horses entered in Championships, and both are leading their respective divisions with their University of Kentucky Wildcats team horses. Green, who has two horses in the Championship, is second in the CCI3*-L with Copper Beach and her Wildcats team horse, McCreary is leading the Training Horse A division with a score of 30.0 going into tomorrow.

Ivie Cullen-Dean on Redfield Lormier. USEA/Kim Beaudoin photo.


Cullen-Dean has two horses taking the overnight lead in two divisions at the Virginia Horse Trials. Cullen-Dean’s Wildcats Team horse, Redfield Lorimer is leading the Open Beginner Novice Horse division on a score of 31.4, and her University of Kentucky Cats Team horse, Fernhill Full Throttle is leading the Open Training division on a score of 31.0.

On every ride, Cullen-Dean's teammates were there cheering her on. “Having everybody come and cheer for you at every single ride is kind of something you never really think about in riding. You always have a support group but having your friends and also your teammates with you on your side is one of the best feelings possible.” Cullen-Dean continued, “it’s just the best atmosphere. Walking up and down the aisle you’re always saying good luck and have fun or they’re saying it back to you.”

Auburn University team spirit. USEA/Kim Beaudoin photo.

The two-time reigning champions, Auburn University has it’s eyes on a third win as Team Orange sits on a team score of 96.035. The team of four consists of Kaitlyn Dendy on Highland Reign in the Open Beginner Novice Rider division, Barbara Brogan on Lyell also in the Open Beginner Novice Rider division, Suzanne Hillhouse on FGF Bob’n For Silver in the Novice Rider A division, and Jennifer Mullholland on Casanova in the Training Rider A division.

So, will it be the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets Team who takes home the 2021 Championship title, or the UK Wildcats, or the defending champions Auburn University? With another full day left to go, the title is up for grabs come tomorrow afternoon.

The scramble team of the graduate division which is scored separately has a team score of 112.17. The team of three consists of Amelia Bayer on Blood, Sweat, & Beers representing James Madison University in the Novice, Macy Clark on Mandolin R representing the University of Kentucky in the Modified, and Mackenzie Kranson on Won for Luck representing Virginia Tech in Beginner Novice.

The awards ceremony for both divisions will be unmounted and will take place tomorrow afternoon after the last ride.

Helpful Links:

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 Saratoga Horseworks, Bates Saddles, FITS, World Equestrian Brands,EQuine AMerica Magazine, Revitavet, Kerrits, R&J Equine Unlimited, LLC, and US Equestrian for sponsoring the Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

Jun 24, 2024 Eventing News

Through The Lens: Mandatory Outing

The U.S. Olympic Eventing Team had their Mandatory Outing this past weekend at the Stable View Summer H.T. in Aiken, South Carolina. All team members, including the direct reserve horses, and all of the alternates, minus Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables' 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding Mama's Magic Way, were in attendance and competed in the Advanced division under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.

Jun 24, 2024 Classic Series

The Organizers of the USEA Classic Series: Sarah Broussard Champions Fun at The Event at Rebecca Farm

Anyone who has had the pleasure of competing at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, will likely tell you that it is one of the most picturesque and inviting eventing venues in the country. The Broussard family, owners and operators of Rebecca Farm, have tirelessly supported the sport of eventing for decades, and that support has extended to the USEA Classic Series since its inception.

Jun 23, 2024 USEA Foundation

How the Wilton Fair Grant and Essex Horse Trial Grants are Helping Cosby Green's Eventing Dreams Come True

I was lucky enough to receive the Wilton Fair Grant and the Essex Horse Trials Grant in the tail end of 2023 to put towards my 2024 adventures with my horses. I moved over to England with three horses in March 2023 and towards the end of the year I had decided I wasn’t quite ready to travel back home to America just yet. Receiving these grants has made staying over an additional year possible, and I couldn’t be more thankful!

Jun 22, 2024 Eventing News

Team USA Complete Final Cross-Country Runs Before Paris

Eventing fans cheered on the Paris-bound Team USA riders as the mandatory outing wrapped up today with the cross-country phase at Stable View Horse Trials. The team riders and alternates competed in the Advanced division, using Capt. Mark Phillips’ course as a final run before heading to the Olympics next month.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA

Official Shockwave of the USEA

Official Horse Wear of the USEA