“This week was just as much about Paige as it was Favian and I because, without her, we are nothing,” said Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride of Blue Clover Eventing in a social media post after her five-star completion at the Maryland 5 Star. Described as Favian’s hero, Paige Ansaldi is a five-star groom at Blue Clover Eventing, a full-time student at the University of Maryland, a team member of the University of Maryland eventing team, and an active competitor herself.
For over five years Ansaldi has been the main girl for Pride’s five-star horse Favian, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (French Kiss x Risiko) owned and ridden by Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride. Together, the team of three have traveled to some of the biggest events in the country including the Kentucky Three-Day Event in April and the Maryland 5 Star in October. Ansaldi has also found the time to compete herself. In May, she competed at the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships at the Virginia Horse Trials with Kathleen Ansaldi’s 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Bombay Original in the Novice Rider division.
Due to Covid-19 complications, Ansaldi was the sole team member competing for the University of Maryland at the Championships. Placed on a scramble team with the University of Florida, Ansaldi and Bombay Original finished fourth in the Novice Rider division to help secure her team fifth place overall. Looking back on those May Championships, Ansaldi described Bombay Original’s performance. “He was awesome. It was his second away show ever. He’s a young horse, he just turned 7, and he’s in his third year of eventing. With the big atmosphere [at VHT] we weren’t sure how he’d be. He really took it all in, and I couldn’t be prouder.”
“All the teams [were] so nice. They came over the first day of Championships and introduced themselves,” said Ansaldi. “I love the University of Maryland and I’m so glad I got to represent them [at Championships].”
In finding the balance between riding, grooming, and school, Ansaldi has taken a page out of her trainer’s book as her trainer has been in a similar position. “She was valedictorian of her class, so she definitely understands the balance between school and riding,” Ansaldi said of her trainer, Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride. “She allows me to do my schoolwork, and she knows I’ll get it out of the way before we go to shows. It’s been fun – it’s definitely a lot of work but I love it, and it’s great to work for a trainer who understands that too.”
Ansaldi is a rising senior at the University of Maryland and will be getting her major in criminology and criminal justice and a minor in global terrorism. “My dad has a company and works a lot with homeland security [and] I’ve always been interested in crime movies. I’m hoping to go to law school and be a criminal lawyer.”
Interested in joining the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program? Click here for more information and here to see which colleges currently offer a USEA affiliated Intercollegiate Eventing Program.
Don’t forget the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships take place on May 21-22, 2022 at Chattahoochee Hills H.T. in Fairburn, Georgia.
Every school must renew its affiliate registration with the USEA for 2022. Click here to renew.
About the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program
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. Many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges 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. Click here to learn more about the Intercollegiate Eventing Program.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Poland CCIO4*-NC-S at the Strzegom Horse Trials (Poland) from June 21-25, 2023. The team will be under the direction of USEF Eventing Emerging and Development Coach Leslie Law.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is excited to announce the launch of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) New Judge Education Program. Qualifying candidates, who are no longer required to hold a USEF judge’s license, will be encouraged to sign up to participate in the YEH New Judge Education Program to receive certification to judge the Jumping and Galloping phases of Young Event Horse competitions.
USEA podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by Dr. Barry Miller of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab and Catherine Winter of Ride EquiSafe for an important, informative, and engaging discussion about helmet safety. For more than a decade, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab has investigated helmets in football, cycling, equestrian sports, and more, collecting more than 2 million data points related to injury and biomechanics research.
If a horse doesn’t have a proven eventing record, those interested in finding their next eventing partner must use other criteria to evaluate a horse’s potential in the sport. Understanding and appraising a horse’s conformation can be a way to look into a crystal ball for that horse’s future suitability for eventing.