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.
On this episode of the Equiratings Eventing Podcast, show host Nicole Brown talks to Pan American Games gold medalist and U.S. team stalwart Boyd Martin about his career to date, highs and lows, and coming back from injury.
On Monday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, USEF will host a member webinar providing updates on the impacts of the case of EHV-1 (neurological) reported in Ocala, Florida. This case is similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia (ESP) and other European countries.
As competitors rise through the levels, they often see the costs associated with competition rise and, unfortunately for most organizers, this can’t be avoided. With fewer competitors requiring more jumps, officials, footing management, etc., the expenses for running higher levels – especially FEI – are greater than lower levels.
Our sport is going to present you with many amazing opportunities, and some equally amazing challenges. While you’re sure to enjoy the opportunities, it sometimes takes a little more effort to enjoy the challenges. Contrary to the common misconception (from non-equestrians) that our sport is easy, it’s actually one of the hardest and most demanding sports of all!