Mar 21, 2019

USEA Events A-Z: Olney Farm Horse Trials

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Sophie Perri, Ami Howard's granddaughter, and Olney St. Nick. Amy Flemming-Waters Photography Photo.

Olney Farm in Joppa, Maryland (Area II) hosts their annual horse trial in August offering Beginner Novice through Modified level. Olney Farm is a boarding and training barn that teaches lessons year-round and hosts camps during the summer. They also host unrecognized events and dressage shows.

In 1855, the Shriver-Howard family came into possession of Olney Farm, 200 acres of fields and woods in Harford County, Maryland, and it has remained in the family ever since. In 1920, a pony breeding business was started by the youngest of the Shriver-Howard daughters and a breeding, boarding, teaching, and training business grew from that to the operation Olney Farm is today.

Amy Flemming-Waters Photography Photo.

“My farm has a long history with teaching beginners, starting in the 1930s with my mother-in-law,” said Ami Howard, Olney Farm’s owner and organizer of the Olney Farm Horse Trials. “We ran hunter shows, game shows, benefit shows, and jumper shows. I had started eventing in the 1960s, so I decided to run a small event. Relaxed, encouraging, and disorganized but very enthusiastic! Our flock of sheep managed to escape and exit through our dressage ring, and to add to the Farm atmosphere, our two milk cows chose to stand as close as possible to the show jumping ring.”

Those first few unrecognized events took place in the early 1990s. The first USEA recognized Olney Farm Horse Trials ran on the second weekend of June in 1995. “After a couple of [unrecognized] years, I realized that I wanted the input of USCTA officials, but they were reluctant to officiate without the umbrella of the organization's insurance covering them,” Howard explained. “Therefore, I applied for a date and USCTA recognition.”

Amy Flemming-Waters Photography Photo.

“I would say that the biggest influence and the most generous and sympathetic help came from Brian Ross, who was my first official Technical Delegate,” Howard continued. “He encouraged us in every possible way and was willing to show a very small, low level, local event on the path to improvement, interest, and encouragement.”

Olney Farm has continued to make expansions and improvements to the cross-country courses each year with the help of course designer Jeff Kibbie. “Our cross-country courses have a wide variety of portables, with banks, ditches, two waters, with hills, woods, and open fields,” said Howard. “I want competitors to leave feeling confident and able to reach their goals and challenged just enough (especially first time eventers) to be ready for the next event.”

Amy Flemming-Waters Photography Photo.

“We still try to remain low key, educational, and low level as an encouraging event, just sticking to the levels through Modified. I encourage my officials to do the same, with way more positive comments than negative (within the rules of course)!”

“I look forward to having happy competitors driving out of our gates at the end of the day, whether they won or lost!”

The USEA is profiling the history behind all USEA recognized events in the USEA Events A­-Z series.

Jan 26, 2022 Instructors

Position, Balance, and Aids: Three Core Topics Covered in the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels

Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.

Jan 25, 2022 Volunteers

2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year: Cynthia Smith and Her Record-Breaking Year

In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.

Jan 24, 2022 Leaderboard

The USEA Lady Rider of 2021 is Leading the Charge in Elevating Eventing Competition on the West Coast

Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.

Jan 23, 2022 Area Resources

Meet the USEA Areas: Area I

Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA