Jul 15, 2018

The Road to NAYC: Area VI Young Rider Camp

The Area VI Young Rider Team riders and grooms at Area VI Young Rider Camp. Photo courtesy of Lisa Takada.

Last week, I attended our Area VI Young Rider Summer Camp at Twin Rivers Ranch. I was initially nervous since this would be the first time we would be riding together as the team candidates in front of our coach and other instructors who were brought in for the week, and it would also be the first time that I would exchange more than just smiles and passing greetings with the girls on the team. But when I arrived at Twin Rivers late Tuesday evening, I was instantly greeted by my teammates Sophie Tice and Brianna Maroney, who were just finishing up barn chores before heading out to dinner and it already felt like we’d all been friends for ages. Bones arrived later that night with Kaitlin Vosseller, who was willing to haul him up for the week!

Our private dressage lessons with Bea DiGrazia and our coach, Bec Braitling, began early Wednesday morning. I’d never ridden with Bea and had only ridden with Bec at a clinic once before, so I was worried that I would be unprepared for the day. Luckily, my nerves quickly calmed as I watched Bea patiently coach my teammates through unique exercises that were helping the horses use and lift their backs and to be more supple and through all around.

Mallory Hogan and her supermare Clarissa Purisiam aka "Clarissa" kicked off our lessons for the day. The team all came together along with our Chef d’Equipe— Kristin Hogan— who is also Mallory’s mom, and we all watched as Bea instructed Mallory through lateral exercises. Mallory finished her lesson by running through our test, which is also how the rest of the lessons went for the day. Madison Temkin and Hollywood were next, followed by Sophie and Mojo, then Kaley Sapper and Tuscan Sun aka "Tuk". It was fun and interesting watching them ride and Bea and Bec taught since I haven’t really focused on my teammates’ riding before. It was also educational as a visual aid because some of their horses resembled Bones at times, so when Bea had them perform certain exercises, I could see the positive results in their rides and could visualize it in my own riding.

Dressage is my and Bones’ weakest link, so we admittedly did have some struggle before we saw success in our lesson. It was tough and although I felt like we were a bit in over our heads, my new friend and teammate Kaley was kind to remind me that at the end of the day, we were there to learn, not to perfect — and I think Bones and I did just that. We walked away with some new tools and methods to work with and definitely an ignited drive to be better!

The next day, we worked in groups on cross-country exercises with Bec. There were lots of forward lines, angles, bounces, etc. so we had to be sure both horse and rider were sharp for these exercises. Bones hadn’t jumped since our cross-country run at the Aspen Farms a few weeks ago so needless to say he was feeling quite excited to be doing his favorite thing again! It was a bit of a challenge to curb his enthusiasm that day but it definitely felt good to know how on top of it he was even after a short break. After our groups brushed up on our cross-country skills, we headed out downtown to go jog outfit shopping. That was a fun afternoon and was a great bonding experience; it became very clear that the Area VI team has awesome chemistry!

Besides being the one to organize all of the campers’ riding schedules, Area VI Young Rider Co-Coordinators Kristin Hogan and Laura Poch also organized an evening with course designer Sarah DuBost and a presentation by Boehringer Ingelheim (Merial) about equine gastric ulcers. Both presentations were extremely educational and interesting, and I think both topics are important to discuss for us young riders to learn more about the tricks of the game and to stay knowledgeable about ways to keep our horses as happy and healthy as can be. We capped this night with an impromptu dance session led by Sophie, Mallory, and Rachael McGregor with Katy Perry’s iconic “California Girls” blaring in the back — some fabulous moms even joined in on the dancing that night!

Photo courtesy of Lisa Takada.

We wrapped up camp with show jumping on our final day. Bec warmed us up in a separate ring and then we each rode through a course set to height that we had set the night before with Sarah DuBost. This was a great way to simulate a real competition and it was fun to watch each other’s rounds. While we were setting the course, Sarah explained which areas of the course could be problems areas due to the technical nature. Having this in mind, we rode each fence accordingly, which I think really showed during our rounds. Everyone jumped great — confidently — and I think I speak for all of the team when I say we left camp feeling prepared for a little show that’s taking place this week!

This wasn’t a very brief blog post, but I didn’t think it would be fair not to mention all the efforts and educational opportunities that went into the camp by our Coach, instructors, guest speakers, organizers, and team parents. I also enjoyed getting to know some of our team grooms at camp and I really look forward to hanging out with them again in Montana! All of these people made our few days of camp an exciting experience — the only downside was that we were missing our teammate Delaney Vaden, but we will be seeing her soon!

May 12, 2021 Competitions

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Announces $300,000 Prize Money for Inaugural Event

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

May 12, 2021 Education

Pre-Purchase Examination 101: With Dr. Shauna Spurlock

You’ve seen a horse you like. You’ve ridden it; you love it. The money’s right; you’ve agreed to buy it. What happens next?

Pre-purchase veterinary examinations are one of those topics that a roomful of horsey people could discuss - and argue amongst themselves about - for hours. For the amateur rider, that can be confusing and slightly alarming.

So, let’s simplify it. What is a pre-purchase examination, why are they done, and what should you expect?

May 11, 2021 Intercollegiate

Eyes on the Prize at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place later this month at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. across May 27-30. Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, the USEA is working with VHT organizer Andy Bowles to ensure the Championships are still a destination competition for all Intercollegiate event riders, packed full with an opening ceremony, the traditional “college town” area, the prestigious spirit award, and an abundance of prizes.

May 10, 2021 Eventing News

2021 FEI MER Changes effective July 1

The FEI passed rule changes impacting Minimum Eligibility Requirements in November 2020 that go into effect on July 1, 2021. The changes will impact athletes who are uncategorized, “D” and “C” athletes competing at the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCI5*-L levels. Please see below for the highlighted changes. The USEF requirements to compete at these levels remain unchanged, but please remember that the USEF requirements must be achieved within 12 months of the competition. These changes will be adopted into the USEF Eventing Rulebook by July 1. See Appendix 3 for qualification requirements.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA