Sep 14, 2020

USEA Podcast #266: Team Talk #2

By USEA

We're back with another installment of Team Talk on the USEA Podcast this week! Nicole Brown is joined again by US Equestrian High Performance Director Erik Duvander and US Equestrian Developing and Emerging Rider Coach Leslie Law. On our first Team Talk episode, Brown and Duvander chatted about how the high performance riders have been staying busy during the competition shutdown caused by COVID-19 and how the delay of the Olympic Games to 2021 will affect the U.S. team. This week, it's all about the developing riders - riders who have come up the pipeline in the pursuit of landing a spot on a senior team.

  • Law introduces himself to our listeners and explains a bit about his role as US Equestrian's Developing and Emerging Rider Coach, which means he focuses his energy on the young and developing riders that have been named to the USEF Training Lists as part of the Eventing Pathway Program. Riders apply for this program and then participate in two days of assessments early in the year. Typically the Emerging and Developing Rider Lists include 12 to 15 riders each.
  • Duvander shares that, at the moment, the Elite List is quite small while the Pre-Elite List is larger, with the goal of developing more of those Pre-Elite riders to the Elite list. Unfortunately this year, due to COVID-19, there haven't been competitions where Pre-Elite riders can demonstrate their form and skill for a possible shift to that Elite list.
  • Law had plans to travel to visit the riders on the Developing List and work with them one-on-one this spring, but COVID-19 threw a wrench in those plans. Instead, Law has been doing virtual training using the EquiRatings OnForm virtual coaching app - he sends out a new set of exercises every 10 days and then the riders take video of themselves performing the exercises. They then send the video back to Law, who is able to review it and provide training advice in the form of a voice-over.
  • One of the coaching challenges in the U.S. is the sheer size of the country, so virtual coaching presents an exciting opportunity for riders to get feedback without the coach needing to be physically present. More recently, Law has been traveling along the East Coast working with some of his riders, and Duvander, who has been out West, has been able to "pick up the slack" and work with some of Law's riders in addition to the Elite and Pre-Elite List members.
  • One of the tools Law and Duvander have created to help give the developing riders experience in a team setting is the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenges. Riders apply for the opportunity to be chosen to either Team Leslie or Team Erik, which allows the coaches to simulate a team competition at an existing event. This fall there will be two Futures Team Challenges - one on the East Coast in Unionville, Pennsylvania later this week, and one on the West Coast in Temecula, California at the end of October. Click here to find out who was named to "Team Leslie" and "Team Erik" for the Futures Team Challenge in Unionville.
  • While the competition is friendly and meant to provide an educational experience for the riders, for Law and Duvander it's another story. Duvander's team won both Futures Team Challenge competitions last year - maybe 2020 will be Law's year!
  • To close out the episode, Ariel Grald comes on to chat about her previous experience on a team at a Futures Team Challenge and her partner, Leamore Master Plan.

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Apr 11, 2021 Competitions

Cinzano Keeps Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Top Spot Secure

At the second-to-last of 40 efforts, "I thought, 'This is actually happening,'" said Amber Levine of a faultless finish with Cellar Farm's Cinzano today to stay on their 31.5 lead going into show jumping tomorrow morning in the Twin Rivers Spring International CCI4*-L. The Jeffs Hot Tub Waves complex at 19 a/b was the awkward exception to a Hugh Lochore-designed course that otherwise "rode great" for the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) in his long-delayed debut at the level. An entirely new portion of the course around the racetrack featured a series of bright-white painted obstacles, but nothing distracted Cinzano's "tunnel vision for those flags." Levine expects a similar game attitude tomorrow and has a rail to spare.

Apr 10, 2021 Competitions

Cinzano Captures Inaugural Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Dressage Lead

Black stallion antics after the CCI4*-L jog inspection yesterday were not a preview of Cinzano's dressage test today. "When you are riding and working him, he's all into what you are doing," says Amber Levine, who owns the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) through her Cellar Farm. A 31.5 dressage test puts them atop a field of four, three of which, including Cinzano, are first-timers in the division in Paso Robles, California.

Apr 09, 2021 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: April 8-11

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

Apr 09, 2021 Competitions

Fast Facts: 2021 Chattahoochee Hills H.T.

The Chattahoochee Hills H.T. is hosting one of three CCI4*-S divisions this weekend across the country and with 34 entries they have the largest turnout as riders prepare for their spring CCI4*-L and CCI5*-L goals. The facility in Fairburn, Georgia is running seven events in 2021, but their April event is the only one offering a CCI4*-S.

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