In 2019, the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program saw more riders competing in team challenges and more championship entries than ever before. The program has steadily gained popularity since its creation in 2014. The USEA intercollegiate national leaderboards were introduced in 2016 and every December, a new set of nationally ranked riders are named.
For 2019, the collegiate riders that took home top honors were Jackie LeMastus of University of Kentucky, Charlotte Stillfried of Randolph-Macon College, Morgyn Johnson of Randolph-Macon College, Noa Crowley of Otterbein University, and Keileigh McMurray of University of South Carolina-Aiken.
USEA Intermediate Intercollegiate Rider of the Year
Jackie LeMastus topped three leaderboards in 2019: the USEA Intermediate Intercollegiate Rider of the Year, the USEA Preliminary Intercollegiate Rider of the Year, and the USEA Preliminary Young Adult Rider of the Year. LeMastus earned 27 points at the Intermediate level while competing the 2005 English Thoroughbred gelding Indian Mill (Millkom x Charwelton) and the 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding Lup the Loop (Lupicor x Hogans Lass). LeMastus and Indian Mill placed second in the Intermediate Rider division at Ocala Winter II, second in the Intermediate Rider division at Ocala International, and won Area VIII’s Intermediate Championship at Jump Start Horse Trials. LeMastus also placed third in the Open Intermediate division at Jump Start Horse Trials while riding Lup the Loop.
The top three highest-ranked collegiate riders at the Intermediate level were all members of the University of Kentucky eventing team. Colin Gaffney was the second-highest ranked and rounding out the top three was Emilie Mudd.
USEA Preliminary Intercollegiate Rider of the Year
Jackie LeMastus accumulated 65 points at the Preliminary level to make her the 2019 USEA Preliminary Intercollegiate Rider of the Year and the USEA Preliminary Adult Rider of the Year. She placed in the top five at nine Preliminary level events with three different horses: Exmoor Denver (Tygo x Olaloma), Indian Mill (Millkom x Charwelton), and Lup the Loop (Lupicor x Hogans Lass). She was also the winner of the CCI2*-S division at Morven Park International and reserve champion at VHT International in the CCI2*-L division.
The second-highest ranked Preliminary Intercollegiate Rider was Barrett Phillips of the University of South Carolina and the third-highest was Sierra Shurtz of the University of Georgia.
USEA Modified Intercollegiate Rider of the Year
Charlotte Stillfried earned six points at the Modified level to earn the 2019 USEA Modified Intercollegiate Rider of the Year. Stillfried and her own 2012 Wesphalian mare Palma D (PR.H Philipo x Hauptstutbuch Piacenza) placed second in the Open Modified division at Seneca Valley Pony Club Spring Horse Trials and finished within the top 10 in the Open Modified division at VHT International. Stillfried was also the sixth highest-ranked rider on both Training and Preliminary Intercollegiate leaderboards.
Rachel Shelangoski of Iowa State University was the second-highest ranked collegiate rider at the Modified level, and it was a tie for third between Katelyn Finch of Auburn University and Sophie Miller of the University of South Carolina - Aiken.
USEA Training Intercollegiate Rider of the Year
With 40 points, Morgyn Johnson of Randolph-Macon College was the 2019 USEA Training Intercollegiate Rider of the Year. Johnson was also the second-highest ranked USEA Training Young Adult Rider. In 2019, Johnson and her 11-year-old Zweibrucker gelding Coroniro (Coromino x Ninety Deniro) finished in the top two at seven Training level events. Her most recent win was in the Open Training division at VHT International.
The second-highest ranked collegiate rider at the Training level was Cora Severs of the University of Kentucky with 21 points and Emily Cardin of the University of Georgia earned 20 points to round out the top three.
USEA Novice Intercollegiate Rider of the Year
Noa Crowley of Otterbein University earned 30 points at the Novice level to be named the 2019 Novice Intercollegiate Rider of the Year. Crowley was also the ninth highest-ranked adult amateur rider at the Novice level. Crowley and her own 2009 Westphalian mare Charlie’s Angel (Florencio I x Davinia) won the Open Novice division at Full Gallop Farm March Horse Trials and Novice Rider division at River Glen Spring Horse Trials. The pair also placed second in the Novice Rider division at Sporting Days Farm March Horse Trials and third in the Novice Three-Day Event at Rebecca Farm.
Taking the second-highest position on the Novice Intercollegiate leaderboard was Mikayla Kearney of the University of Central Florida and Abby Blackburn of Transylvania University earned the third spot. Blackburn was also named Transylvania University’s Female Athlete of the Year.
USEA Beginner Novice Intercollegiate Rider of the Year
Keileigh McMurray of the University of South Carolina-Aiken topped two USEA national leaderboards in 2019. McMurray accumulated 30 points to earn the USEA Beginner Novice Young Adult Rider of the Year and the USEA Beginner Novice Intercollegiate Rider of the Year. McMurray and her own 2009 Hanoverian gelding Rapport finished within the top five at seven events. The pair won the Open Beginner Novice division at Full Gallop Farm August Horse Trials, Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials at TIEC, and Full Gallop Farm November Horse Trials.
McMurray’s teammate at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Kirsten LaVassar, was the second-highest ranked collegiate rider at the Beginner Novice level. Paige Ansaldi of the University of Maryland rounded out the top three.
For more information on the USEA Intercollegiate Program, please click here.
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.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The Surefire Farm Horse Trials scheduled for September 25-27, 2020 in Purcellville, Virginia has been canceled.
When introducing a horse to a new concept, it is important to make the entire learning process enjoyable. Make sure to always praise your horse so they continuously understand that they are supposed to be enjoying this time. In eventing, the skinnies have gotten so small that the sooner the horses begin to lock on and enjoy it, the better.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).