Transylvania University was founded in 1780, the first college West of the Allegheny mountains and the 19th oldest in the nation. The Eventing team was founded at the University as a varsity sport in the Fall of 2012. Transylvania University, lovingly referred to as simply “Transy”, is a small private liberal arts college in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. The school is situated in downtown Lexington, minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park and a 25-30 minute drive to Three Day Farm, the home base for Transy’s eventing team in the rolling blue hills of Midway, Kentucky.
The varsity eventing team is composed of riders competing at levels ranging from Beginner Novice to Preliminary. In order to represent Transy in competition, horse and rider must have competed safely at their level at a minimum of two USEA recognized events. This past year, the team was composed of about 12 riders with up to eight riders and two teams competing for the school at several competitions. The school pays for the team members’ entry and stabling fees and riding gear at several shows per year where the team competes in Intercollegiate Challenges. Members of the team also have access to a personal trainer on campus in the University’s athletic center. Though not equestrians themselves, the athletic department has worked with the team to put together a program based upon sometimes hilarious descriptions of the fitness level and muscle groups necessary for eventing!
Reflective of the school’s odd name and rich history, the University mascot is a bat, which Transy eventers now stencil on their horse’s hindquarters for the cross-country phase. This past fall, the team competed at the River Glen Horse Trials, Poplar Place Farm Horse Trials, and Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials, and for the spring season will go to the Winona Horse Trials and the Intercollegiate Championship at the Virginia Horse Trials. The team had wins at Chatt Hills, River Glen, and Poplar! Next year, the University plans to add the local Jumpstart Horse Trials, along with an alumni division at the River Glen Horse Trials to the competition schedule. Transy eventers frequently make use of local cross-country schooling and non-collegiate shows at the Kentucky Horse Park as well.
Transy eventers are members of a team in addition to individual athletes. They have one another’s support, moral and otherwise, at the barn, the dorms, and especially when traveling with horses for schooling or competitions. In the fall, the team travels to River Glen Equestrian Center in Tennessee to school cross-country and camp for a weekend; in the spring, they do a volunteer day of service as a team, along with all other varsity teams at Transy. For the past two years, the service day has been spent at the Kentucky Equine Humane Society in nearby Nicholasville, Kentucky.
“I go from class, to a meeting with a professor, to the barn and then back for school functions and I love it. Especially wearing breeches to class,” said team member Abby Blackburn. “Thanks to financial aid and scholarships, Transy was my cheapest option both in and out of State. That, their pre-law rankings, and learning of the opportunity to event on a team in college sealed the deal for me,” Chloe Hunt volunteered.
While Transy does not offer an Equine Studies major, the University is prestigious and academically rigorous, preparing students for whatever they wish to pursue and offers easy access and some partnership programs with its neighbor, the University of Kentucky. Despite offering a private education and small class sizes, Transy is generous with financial aid and scholarships; this has made eventing in college affordable for team members. Team members, while dedicated, do not limit their range of interests to Eventing and come from all over the country. Major/minors of current team members include Graphic Design, Business, Philosophy, Pre-pharmaceutical/Biochemistry, Language, Art, and Environmental Studies. Many are in student organizations or clubs on campus.
The Transylvania University Eventing team will have a booth at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* at the Kentucky Horse Park this April 26-29, 2018, booth 211, so stop by and say hi! Or, just look for bat-stenciled butts at the next competition.
All photos courtesy of the Transylvania University Eventing Team.
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 and many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges throughout the year, 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. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score. Click here to learn more about the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program.
The USEA wants to feature your collegiate eventing team in our Intercollegiate Eventing Spotlight series! Please send your story and photos to Jessica Duffy.
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.
Beginning May 17, 2021, USEF will implement new protocols regarding the use of face coverings/masks at USEF-licensed competitions in response to recently updated CDC recommendations. Please click here to access the full amendments to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan protocols.
Nicole Brown is joined this week by Irish World Equestrian Games silver medalist Sam Watson as they discuss the road to a successful cross-country round. They cover your basic training at home before your event, what you do when you get to the event and are walking the course, warming-up, visualization, and finally how to tackle the course. This podcast is full of words of wisdom from Sam that will keep you listening to the very end so tune in now!
Boyd Martin claimed the CCI4*-L victory at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event riding Luke 140, owned by The Luke 140 Syndicate. California rider Tamra Smith held the lead and second place with Danito and En Vogue, respectively, with the two swapping placings after cross-country, and Martin and Luke 140 maintaining third place through both phases. But two rails down for Danito dropped him to fourth place and En Vogue was relegated to third with three rails down, opening the door for Martin and Luke 140 to clinch the win.