The University of South Carolina at Aiken (USCA) arrived for their first collegiate challenge of the year at Chattahoochee Hills ready to tackle their spring goals with the taste of victory that they experienced last fall at the front of their minds. Though USCA Eventing may be a smaller team compared to some, what they lack in numbers they make up for with consistently great riding.
“Our second win as a college team was much like our first win, maybe a little more intense because not only were we competing against seasoned college teams we were on UGA's home base,” Team President Manon Quilodran said.
Quilodran had entered the event, but once her horse suffered a minor last-minute injury, she was forced to withdraw, leaving the USCA team short by one. “We had to scramble for a member to fill my spot when my horse sustained an injury pulling him out of the competition. Luckily, Auburn had an extra rider, Kaley Bush, who rode at the training level,” she said.
Kristen LaVassar and Mahogany Mist. Photo via her Facebook page.
Other members of the team included freshman Caroline Carney with her own PL Cha Cha, Nicole Wisniewski on Mainstay and Kristen LaVassar and Mahogany Mist. In addition to creating a scramble team, USCA Eventing also rushed to fill Quilodran’s entry with another team member. “We last minute dragged Carolina and her horse PL Cha Cha in the Novice Division,” Quilodran explained. “For three days’ notice, limited preparation and many hurdles between arriving on the grounds and finally getting to show day, she did really well.” Carney finished second in her division and was also earned a bronze for having the third best individual score of the intercollegiate riders. LaVassar was also riding a leased horse in their first horse trial together. The USC Aiken Eventing Team proved again how they can pull themselves up by their boot straps and put in great rides, despite less than ideal conditions.
Auburn University finished in second place on a total score of 118.60. This team was made up of members, Aubrey Wagner riding Etoile, Andrea Glazer riding Artic Fernhill and Ashton Brooke Benefiel riding Treliver Drambuie. Auburn Eventing had an impressive turn out at this event, and in addition to this red ribbon team, they also had representative Kaley Bush on the winning team, and Leigh Higby and Kristen Horn on the third placed team.
Auburn University Eventing at Chattahoochee Hills. Photo via AU Eventing's Facebook page.
University of Georgia (UGA) student Ava Mohiuddin joined Horn and Higby on a three-person team for third place, and the University of Alabama (UA) finished in fourth place. Their team was made up of members Meagan Majchszak, Angela Lenning, Caitlin Cobb and Sarah Wietbrock. As a greener team, UA is certainly putting a great foot forward as all four riders on their team had double clear cross-country rounds.
The overall individual collegiate rider of the weekend was Devon Olivier of the University of Georgia. She rode her own Karisma at the Training horse division, which she also won. “It was a really amazing weekend for me as this was the first time I have won a recognized horse trial, and to be able to do it on a horse I started as a three year off the track made it even more special. To win the collegiate challenge was a really nice bonus to end the weekend and we are looking forward to competing at the Intercollegiate Championships in Virginia,” she reflected.
Devon Olivier (UGA) and Karisma. Photo by UGA Eventing.
Overall it was another great weekend for members of the USEA Intercollegiate Program. Congratulations to all the teams and riders at Chattahoochee Hills!
Gold: Devon Olivier (UGA)
Silver: Emily Cox (UGA)
Bronze: Caroline Carney (USCA)
About Chattahoochee Hills
Chattahoochee Hills Eventing is located on Olympic Three Day Event rider Carl Bouckaert’s farm in Chattahoochee Hill country right outside of Atlanta, Ga. This 8,000 acre equestrian paradise is filled with well-established rolling pastures, lakes, and woodlands that run 12 miles along the Chattahoochee River. Chattahoochee Hills has been a loyal supporter of the Intercollegiate Program from the start, and has hosted team challenges for the past three years to college riders in the southeast. They offer an immaculate facility, challenging yet fair courses, and a friendly atmosphere. To learn more about the venue, please visit their website.
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This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).