When Georgia native Ivie Cullen-Dean graduated from high school, she decided a change of zip code was in order to kick start her college career. The University of Kentucky in Lexington was calling her name, and the young eventer, who had previously competed at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2017, decided that joining the UK Intercollegiate Eventing Team would be a great way to meet like-minded individuals in her new home.
The 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships may have come and gone already, but many Intercollegiate members have their sights set on the next championship of the year: the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! The USEA caught up with members from the Auburn University, Transylvania University, University of Findlay, University of Georgia, and University of Kentucky teams to chat about their plans for the 2023 AEC coming up on August 29 through September 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
USEA podcast host Nicole Brown calls this "one of my favorite shows of the entire season" because "it's the time of year that so many of us wish we could go back to college days." That's right, it's the week of the Intercollegiate Eventing Championship! The panel of Leslie Threlkeld (co-chair of the Intercollegiate Committee), Stephanie James Counts (a new committee member and coach for the Auburn University team), and Hannah Warner (president of the University of Kentucky team) get you ready for the big event taking place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on May 26-28.
For years the USC-Aiken eventing team has brought team spirit, school pride, and successful upper-level event riders to the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program. Sydney Shinn, a USEA collegiate member, full-time student at USC-Aiken, and CCI3* event rider is one of them. Last year, Shinn competed two horses at the Intermediate/CCI3* level. The first horse was her own 17-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Paprika (Shadow Show x Nifty) and the second horse was Nyconn Cat (Tale of the Cat x Point Missed) a 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Kimberly Carrell. She finished fifth at the Morven CCI3*-S and third in the Intermediate division at Fair Hill H.T. with Nyconn Cat, and she finished second in the Intermediate division at Pine Top Spring H.T. and Pine Top Advanced H.T. with Paprika. In addition to her upper-level mounts, she also competes her 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, HSH Crypto (Casallco x Cumano Kiss) at the Training level.
“The Clemson Eventing Team does a fantastic job of creating a community of riders,” said collegiate member, Jackson Dillard. In 2021, Dillard competed his two horses, Elmo a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding bred by James Martin, and Layla Q (Loerke x Ayla Q) an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare bred by Suzanne Quarles. With his two horses, he completed six CCI2* events, he moved up to the Intermediate level with Layla Q, and he was on the winning Area II team of the CCI2*-L USEF Youth Team Challenge East Coast Finals at Tryon International – he did this all while attending Clemson University full-time.
“This week was just as much about Paige as it was Favian and I because, without her, we are nothing,” said Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride of Blue Clover Eventing in a social media post after her five-star completion at the Maryland 5 Star. Described as Favian’s hero, Paige Ansaldi is a five-star groom at Blue Clover Eventing, a full-time student at the University of Maryland, a team member of the University of Maryland eventing team, and an active competitor herself.
Fresh off a top 15 finish in the CCI3*-L at the Maryland 5 Star, Cosby Green is back in Lexington attending class at the University of Kentucky (UK). The 21-year-old is an undergraduate student, a team member and the social chair of the UK eventing team, has two upper-level event horses, Copper Beach and Highly Suspicious, and a young horse, McCreary, who she rode on the winning team of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.
The University of Maryland (UMD) Eventing Team began as a small club of about five members in 2016 and is excited to be heading into our fourth year together – each new eventing season brings more members, competitions, and unforgettable memories. We are based out of Tara Equestrian in Sykesville, Maryland under the guidance of our amazing trainer and two-star event rider, Ashley Beheler.
This past year the event team at the University of California, Davis celebrated its 10th year as a three-day eventing team!
The Randolph-Macon College Eventing program was established only six years ago by two individuals. Within a few years, it has grown to 16 members who all share the same passion for eventing and their horses. Randolph-Macon College has provided us with a 70-acre state-of-the-art facility where we can achieve our goals under the watchful eye of five-star rider Ashley Adams. The R-MC Eventing program has given us the opportunity to pursue our aspirations in the horse world while also achieving academic success.
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.