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.
If you’re like most riders you’ve probably heard someone say something like, “Your last mistake is your best teacher,” or “if you’re doing everything right you’re doing something wrong because you’re in your comfort zone.” While I agree whole-heartedly with these sentiments, I actually prefer, “Equestrians don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make equestrians.” They make us bolder, braver, and brighter; but only when we develop a positive relationship with our mistakes and respond to them in productive ways.
Up-and-coming eventing athlete Tommy Greengard of Malibu, California, was named the recipient of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant for 2024. A current competitor on the U.S. Equestrian Federation's (USEF) Eventing Emerging Program List, Greengard has aspirations of representing the United States internationally.
Bethany Hutchins-Kristen headed into 2023 with hopes of earning the SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year award for a second year in a row on her homebred Geluk HVF, and after a stellar season, including a top-10 finish at the TerraNova CCI2*-L (Myakka City, Florida), she took home the top prize with an 18-point lead.
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.