Nov 23, 2021

USEA Collegiate Member: Paige Ansaldi, Five-Star Groom and Full-Time Student at University of Maryland

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Photos - Left courtesy of Paige Ansaldi, right USEA/ Claire Kelley

“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.

Paige Ansaldi and Favian at the Kentucky Three-Day Event. USEA/ Claire Kelley photo

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].”

USEA photo.

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.”

Photo courtesy of Paige Ansaldi

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.

May 15, 2022 Competitions

Boyd Martin and Fedarman B Master the CCI 4*-L Division at Tryon Spring International Three-Day Event

Boyd Martin claimed the win aboard Fedarman B on a final score of 29.0 in the CCI4*-L division to claim the CCI4*-L USET Foundation National Championship, adding nothing to their dressage score after two double-clear jumping rounds. In reserve, and the highest-ranked international rider, Colleen Loach and Vermont, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Van Helsing x Heraldik XX) owned by Peter Barry, also completed their weekend without adding any points, ending on a score of 29.3. Clinching third place honors via double-clear stadium round for a total of 31.0 points was Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley, the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law, Jackie Brown and Steve Brown.

May 15, 2022 USEA Foundation

Ever So Sweet Scholarship Recipient Sierra Lesny Looks Back on a Successful Season

In 2021, Strides for Equality Equestrian (SEE) and the United States Eventing Association (USEA) established the Ever So Sweet Scholarship which provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with five-star eventing Sara Kozumplik Murphy for one season (winter or summer). The scholarship funds cover full board and training costs for one horse, several lessons per week, housing, a stipend for living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. During the duration of their working student opportunity, participants learn to manage, care for, and compete horses in an immersive program and will have the opportunity to work as part of the team in all aspects of running a large, competitive barn, in addition to making critical professional connections that would otherwise be unattainable.

May 14, 2022 Association News

Equine Fatality at the Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T.

Reddick, FL - The organizing committee of the Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. is sad to report that No Limits, Oops a 16-year-old gelding ridden by Aline Briot in the Training Rider division experienced a fall at fence 17 on the cross-country course. The horse received immediate veterinary attention at the fence and was euthanized onsite. Aline Briot was uninjured in the fall.

May 14, 2022 Education

Eventing Fact: You Will Sometimes Fall Off

This story first appeared in the May 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.

In all horse sport, there’s a risk that you might hit the deck. But if you’re an event rider, that is pretty much guaranteed.

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