“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.”
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.
While a total of 95 4- and 5-year-old horses will be vying for top-finishes in The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships next weekend, a select group of YEH graduates are entered in the CCI5*-L division at the second annual MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Presented by Brown Advisory. The USEA YEH program has run successfully for over 15 years, and many graduates of the program have gone onto compete at the pinnacle of the sport, the FEI 5-Star level of eventing, including the four horses entered in the 2022 Maryland 5 Star.
Founded in 2019, the MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program was initially created to assist up-and-coming riders under the age of 25 in North America who had not yet competed in a destination event, such as the program’s namesake the MARS Bromont CCI in Lac Brume, Quebec, Canada, or been recognized by the USEF programs intended for emerging athletes.. Spearheaded by the late Steve Blauner and Sue Ockendon, the program sought to give back to the sport by helping the next generation of riders get more experience under their belt with the help of the financial assistance provided by the program, and the two days of included instruction from leading coaches around the world.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is excited to kick off a two-year anniversary celebration, happening all throughout the month of October in the form of “SEE Month”. SEE’s goal during October is to raise awareness about our mission of opening doors for equestrians from diverse backgrounds while also fundraising to continue our work and future projects.
And just like that, it is time for the Morven Park International! The prestigious event will take place Thursday, October 6, and run through Sunday, October 10 in Leesburg, Virginia. This is the event’s second year offering the CCI4*-L division, in addition to their CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI2*-S divisions. That’s not all! The historic grounds at Morven Park will also host national divisions at the Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels.