It was a hometown win for the Novice Adult Team Championship (ATC) at the 2019 American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds as Team Crazy8 finished on top of the standings. The four riders representing Area VIII finished on a score of a 93.9.
Madeline Bletzacker and her own 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Drummer Boy (Don Principe x Winterzauber) were the Novice Rider Champions and led the Crazy8s to ATC victory. They were joined by Courtney Calnan and Little Black Dress, her own 9-year-old Arabian mare (Carbonado MHF x Jayel Ariel) who finished ninth in the Novice Rider Championship; Alyssa Dykgraaf and Foudroyant de Bellerose, her own 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (TinTin de la Pomme x Uptown Girl of Bellerose) – the 15th place pair in the Novice Master Amateur division; and Alston Kerr and Sir Earl Grey, her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by WRS Sun Rich.
“I’m a member of Area VIII, and I wanted to be in the Adult Team Championships and support my team,” explained Bletzacker. “I’ve been in the Area VIII adult rider program for years, so I’ve been on other teams before. It’s fun because, most of your teammates, you don’t know them. So, you meet new people, and then you become good friends.
“It’s been great supporting my teammates this weekend,” she continued. “It’s all about the horse, but we also support the people. Even if somebody drops a rail, or something happens, it’s fine, we’re here to have fun. It’s just nice to be here.”
Second place went to It’s Our Rolex, who finished up on a score of 97.0. The number two team consisted of Cindi Moravec/ Holloway, Cami Pease/ Vibrant, Julie Miller/ Chalie, and Kathleen Cannon/ Pacific Storm.
“This is my third team at the AEC,” said Moravec. “It has been a lot of fun getting to know new people and I like [the ATC] because we have all been extremely supportive. I saw all my teammates’ dressage tests and we went out and cheered on cross-country. I think it is awesome and it’s a great experience because this is our Rolex – you know I am never going to get any closer.”
Nevertheless We Persisted was the team to round out the top three and end their week on a score of 97.4. Team members included Cindy Deporter/ Ana D, Cashell Jaquish/ Corrival, Helen Casteel/Unapproachable, and Teresa Martinoli/ Loughnatousa Caprice.
For Deporter being on a placing team was extra special because she helped get the ATC up and running at the AEC. “I was the national Adult Rider coordinator in 2013 when I got a call about moving the Adult Team Challenge to the AEC starting in Texas Rose in 2014,” she explained. “I remember Lou Leslie and I talking about it and we said OK we are going to do it, so I helped get them started at Texas Rose the first year, and I actually drove from North Carolina and we competed and our team was second. It was a really good move to do it because it has added a dimension to this and it is really special.”
About the USEA Adult Team Championships
The USEA Adult Team Championships, which debuted in 2014, is the capstone event for the USEA Area Adult Team Challenges, providing adults the chance to compete as a team and represent their Area of the country in a friendly and fun environment. Historically, adult riders had three regional Team Challenges in which to compete with fellow adults in a team environment, with the locations changing each year. In 2013, the USEA Adult Rider Coordinators voted to move to support Adult Team Challenges taking place in all 10 Areas across the country, with the finale being the ATC at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. Each Area can send up to eight teams from Beginner Novice through Preliminary level to the ATC. Adult Riders know how to have a good time, and there is no doubt that they bring an increased level of excitement and camaraderie to the AEC! Click here to learn more about the Adult Team Championships.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.
Trainers, riders, parents, and more are in for a real treat when the all-new USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is officially released. Those participating in the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first to set eyes on this all-encompassing guide that has been two years in the making.
The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.