US Equestrian has announced the horse-and-athlete combinations selected to compete at the 2020 Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge – West Coast held at Galway Downs in Temecula, California, from October 29-November 1. The format of the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge provides an opportunity for eventing athletes to gain valuable team competition experience in an unofficial team scenario on home soil at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels.
The teams will be coached by Erik Duvander, U.S. Performance Director for Eventing, and Leslie Law, USEF Eventing Development and Emerging Coach, both serving as Chef d’Equipe for their respective teams.
Erik Duvander's Team
Team Captain: Liz Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal), a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership
Emilee Libby (Temecula, Calif.) and her own and Linda Libby's Jakobi (Ustinov x Expression), an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding
Sophie Click (Snoqualmie, Wash.) and Quidproquo (Quidado x Waleila), her own and Amy Click's nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding.
Leslie Law’s Team
Team Captain: Tamie Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) and Passepartout (Pasco x Preschel), an 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding owned by Kaylawna Smith-Cook
Rebecca Brown (Seagoville, Texas) and Dassett Choice (Caricello x Vilja), an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Team Junior Syndicate
Charlotte Babbitt (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) and her own 2 A.M. (Sheraton x Regina K), an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding
"Both Leslie and I are really looking forward to running our first Futures Team Challenge on the West Coast," said Duvander. "The Futures Team Challenge program is a new program and still under development. This year we are running three-horse teams for Galway Downs, but hoping to grow this number next year. We are also going to trial for the first time having senior riders as team captains, with Liz Halliday-Sharp captaining my team and Tamie Smith captaining Leslie’s team. The purpose in naming captains is for these athletes to develop leadership skills, while simultaneously gaining more team experience."
"Our aim is to continuously drive and grow eventing on the West Coast, and we hope the Futures Team Challenge will aid in inspiring the next generation of riders and providing a pathway toward senior teams," Duvander added. "It would not have been possible to run the Futures Team Challenge this year without Adequan stepping up as a sponsor, and we are grateful for their support of this successful program.”
Applications were submitted to the USEF Performance Advisory Team and selected based off of results, potential, willingness to learn, and commitment to developing as future team athletes, following the FEI Nations Cup selection criteria as guidance.
Selection to a team under the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge does not represent selection to a recognized U.S. team.
The USEA is saddened to report that Canadian eventer Holly Jacks-Smither's five-star horse More Inspiration died on Feb. 19. He was 18. Bred in Canada by Display Farm, the Thoroughbred gelding (Inspired Prospect x Gentle Buck) started 28 times at the track and had four wins.
We might be a few months into the new year, but there is still so much to come in the 2024 U.S. eventing season. USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown sits down with USEA CEO Rob Burk, USEA President Lou Leslie, and EquiRatings' Managing Director and Co-Founder Diarm Byrne to make predictions, dive into team selections, and just share what they are most looking forward to this year in this week's episode of the USEA Podcast.
Marley Bridges lived and breathed gymnastics. “I started at the age of 5,” said Bridges. “You always had to have the time and the mindset for gymnastics. You had to allow yourself to commit to it. You had to commit to working out four hours a day, five days a week, doing cardio every single day, train every single day. You had to stay committed to yourself, the team, and the sport.”
If you’re like most riders you’ve probably heard someone say something like, “Your last mistake is your best teacher,” or “if you’re doing everything right you’re doing something wrong because you’re in your comfort zone.” While I agree whole-heartedly with these sentiments, I actually prefer, “Equestrians don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make equestrians.” They make us bolder, braver, and brighter; but only when we develop a positive relationship with our mistakes and respond to them in productive ways.