The University of Maryland (UMD) Eventing Team began as a small club of about five members in 2016 and is excited to be heading into our fourth year together – each new eventing season brings more members, competitions, and unforgettable memories. We are based out of Tara Equestrian in Sykesville, Maryland under the guidance of our amazing trainer and two-star event rider, Ashley Beheler. This year, we grew to 34 members in total with 21 ladies actively taking lessons and competing for the Terps. Our team is a diverse squad, with members who have just begun their riding careers and others who have competed at the two-star level. Our UMD Faculty Advisor, Dr. Amy Burk, has also been a vital member of our team, whether it be guiding us along our journey as a club or always cheering us on from the sidelines!
This past year we were so excited to have two teams compete in the first intercollegiate team challenge held at MCTA Horse Trials in May. This event is particularly special to us as the Maryland Combined Training Association sponsors and supports our team! We, unfortunately, missed out on the USEA Intercollegiate Championships at Chattahoochee Hills, which fell on our final exams week, but we aim to get back to the Championships to represent UMD! These competitions are such fun team bonding events and we are grateful to the intercollegiate program for facilitating horse trials where we get to meet riders from other schools and compete together as Terps. To show off our school spirit at competitions, we are fortunate to work with FITS, Smith Girls Equestrian, Frilly Fillies Bonnets, and C4 Belts to help us dress the part and be recognized as Terps.
This past year we began hosting semesterly fundraiser jumper shows at Tara Equestrian, which have allowed us to have the capacity to send riders to intercollegiate team challenges and even fund lessons for our non-competing members. Ashley has taken on three weekly lesson groups due to our growing membership and has been so supportive of our team throughout the past few years. We are lucky to have her guidance as she always offers coaching at our events and goes out of her way to help us run the jumper shows. We are grateful and excited for the coming year with her as our trainer!
With our growing membership, we have been seeking out team bonding events where we can get to know each other better out of the saddle too. In October, we hopped on the metro from College Park to D.C. with banners and colorful pom poms to attend the Washington International Horse Show. In addition to a fun night away from campus, we won the honorable mention for most spirited group!
We are extremely lucky to be located in the heart of Area II with access to many competitions and opportunities. When we are not competing, our team truly values giving back to the community that has helped us grow over the past few years. Specifically, each fall we have the amazing opportunity to volunteer in the Waredaca Three-Day Event vet box. This is such a fun and educational team activity that involves taking TPRs and learning about competition fitness from Dr. Chad Davis.
As the president for this school year, I have had the amazing responsibility of leading our team through its next iteration. However, without the immense amount of dedication, passion for the sport, and incredible ambition of our entire executive board and team, we would not have grown to what we are today. These girls make being a part of this team fun and memorable, and I feel so lucky to have gotten to share our eventing journeys as college students with one another.
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 Claire Kelley at [email protected] to be featured.
This year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L was on April 21-25 and was the first five-star event to take place in the U.S. since 2019. The entry list had the best riders in the world, previous Kentucky champions, Olympic hopefuls, and horses who have been eventing in the U.S. since they were 4 years old.
US Equestrian is seeking applications of employment for their Director of Eventing Sport Management & Administration position.
Please join the Equine High Performance Sports Group for their new Sport Horse Series. Interact with human athlete trainers, champions in equestrian sport, and their coaches, veterinarians, farriers, and grooms to translate and apply their knowledge in training, treatment, preventative medicine, services, etc. of equine athletes under your care.
Horses have so much power over us. They don’t know that, of course, but, unwittingly, they expose our personal weaknesses – and bring out our hidden strengths. This is something Allison Smith, a 28-year-old from Warrenton, Va., knows very well. Her passion for eventing and the pressure she put on herself to succeed in this many-layered, ultimately demanding sport exacerbated her anxiety and perfectionist tendencies. Yet one horse has changed her life in a way she never could have anticipated.