The University of Florida (UF) Eventing Team is in its fourth year and has been gaining momentum each school year. We are based out of the eventing hub Ocala, Florida and have been lucky enough to have five-star rider Ashley Johnson as our coach. Our team currently has 15 riders, some of whom have just begun their eventing journey and others who have competed up to the two-star level. The University of Florida's close proximity to Ocala has given our riders the best opportunities to practice and improve their riding, all the while earning a premier education at a top university.
This past semester has been exciting, with many of our new members competing for the first time and a handful of blue ribbons already! The University of Florida had two teams participate in the Florida Horse Park’s Battle of the Barns, and we are gearing up for upcoming intercollegiate team challenges next semester. Last year we had two teams compete at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships at Chattahoochee Hills, and we hope to represent UF again this year! Apart from competing, our team is highly active in the UF Equestrian club, where we fundraise and volunteer alongside our hunt seat, dressage, and western teams.
As captain this year, I can attest that each rider contributes to this team and is why we have been so successful in getting new members and increasing our turnout at shows. This team has some of the hardest working individuals I have met, and I'm proud to call each one of them my teammates. It's a unique experience to feel such a part of a team in a sport that is so based on individual performance, but it's made eventing all the more enjoyable. Even when your teammate is technically your competitor, we are all still rooting for each other and push each other to be the best we can be. Ashley has also been the backbone to this team, providing amazing lesson horses and sharing her knowledge not only of the sport, but life in general. I have seen this team grow from its first year to now, and I'm so excited to see what's in store for the future.
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 to be featured.
James Alliston made out like a king earlier this summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm with wins in the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L aboard Paper Jam and Nemesis respectively. We caught up with Alliston to chat about his horses, competing on the West Coast, his time in the States, and how it compares to competing in England.
Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) owned by Caroline Moran, kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
It was a historic week for U.S. Eventing as American athletes achieved their best results ever in the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of Will Coleman and Off The Record, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum took second place in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup – the highest result by a U.S. team at the prestigious event.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.