The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is thrilled to announce Ariel Grald as the 2019 recipient of the Jacqueline B. Mars International Grant, and Ellie MacPhail O'Neal as the recipient of the Jacqueline B. Mars National Grant. These distinguished eventing athletes boast impressive records and demonstrate high-performance potential to represent the United States in future international competitions, making them the ideal recipients of the annual grants that provide training and competition resources for athletes and their horses.
Grald of Vass, North Carolina, has had a standout year with Anne Eldridge's 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Leamore Master Plan, proving herself as a consistent upper-level competitor. In Kentucky this spring at the Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L, the pair competed in their first 5* event, earning 12th out of a competitive field. Her current participation in the Developmental Potential group sets her up for the FEI 2022 World Equestrian Games.
With the opportunity to travel overseas Grald is looking forward to maximizing her time in the United Kingdom. Her plans to compete in the Millstreet CCI4*-S this month are part of the goal of preparing for the prestigious Burghley CCI5* set to take place at Burghley House in September.
"It is an immense honor to receive the Jacqueline B. Mars International Grant," said Grald. "I've dreamed of competing in Europe and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity from the USET Foundation and Jacqueline Mars to make this goal a reality. It means a lot to have their support and faith in me and my horse. This trip will help us gain valuable international experience as we build towards representing the USA in the future. Grants such as this are crucial for Americans to compete abroad and I'm very thankful for this exciting and educational opportunity."
Using the Jacqueline B. Mars National Grant, MacPhail O'Neal plans to compete at the Fair Hill International CCI4*-L with Zeta, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Sally Cox. She has participated in both Futures Challenges in 2019 and her development thus far has sparked her determination to be an excellent team competitor. Last month, MacPhail O'Neal and Zeta made the trip to Canada for the 2019 Bromont Mars Equestrian CCI4* where they were able to gain more experience on a terrain made up of hills and mountains, an exciting opportunity for Reddick, a Florida native.
"Receiving the Jacqueline B. Mars National Grant is such an honor," MacPhail O'Neal said. "I am really excited to have the opportunity. It makes me so excited and appreciative that the USET Foundation provides funding for riders. I would also like to thank Sally Cox, who owns Zeta, and my mother for their support."
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.
Trainers, riders, parents, and more are in for a real treat when the all-new USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is officially released. Those participating in the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first to set eyes on this all-encompassing guide that has been two years in the making.
The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.
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.