With eventing at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru kicking off in almost exactly four weeks, the U.S. team athletes and horses gathered together for the first time yesterday in The Plains, Virginia to begin their final preparations.
Boyd Martin, Doug Payne, Tamra Smith, Lynn Symansky, and the reserve riders who have been selected to represent the USA for the upcoming 2019 Pan American Games trained today at Chestnut Run Farm and Beverly Equestrian Center. All riders rode dressage in morning sessions and jumped with U.S. Eventing Performance Director, Erik Duvander in afternoon sessions to prepare for a busy schedule in preparation for Lima.
“It looks like everyone’s been doing the work they need to do at home,” said Symansky. “Mine feels better than he was in the spring. I think the term is ‘cautiously optimistic’. I am a positive thinker but not outwardly so. My mental game is: prepare for the worst and expect the best.”
Smith and Alex and Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell's Mai Baum arrived from their home base in Southern California late last night, completing the team save for traveling reserve Liz Halliday-Sharp, who is at home in England and preparing to compete at Barbury this weekend. “I’m in bit of disbelief that I’m here,” Smith said. “We just flatted today, but he felt great. He got here and took a deep breath and a nap!”
Mai Baum and the other team horses are overnighting at Mary Ann Ghadban’s Chestnut Run Farm in The Plains before heading to The Maryland Horse Trials this weekend.
In total nine team horses (including reserves) schooled over a Chris Barnard-designed course in Beverly Equestrian’s outdoor arena, that modeled what riders should expect to see in Lima. Duvander was pleased with the day.
“It’s always interesting when you first put a new group of people together. There’s a lot of talk about team culture and so on, but it’s always developed with individuals - you can’t create a culture until you put them all together and see what happens, and I don’t know if we were lucky on day one, but it’s been a really good day,” Duvander said. “All the horses went well and everyone worked with really good focus. It’s about ticking the boxes every day, getting it right every day, and I think today we got it right with all horses.”
Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Attention USEA members! Registration for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.
Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.