Jun 03, 2018

West Coast Intercollegiate Eventing Welcomes Cal Poly Eventing Team

The Cal Poly Eventing Team. From left to right: Kaley Sapper, Lexie Thacker, Molly Gibbons, and Josey Thompson. Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Eventing Team.

My name is Lexie Thacker, president and founder of the Cal Poly Eventing Team. When I first came to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly, I ended up boarding with several eventers who shared my passion for the sport. Back in 2014, we were inspired to start our own eventing team at Cal Poly with the implementation of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program by the USEA. However, due to logistic complications, we were unable to form until the start of 2018. We are now proud to have officially started our team with a fantastic group of hard-working and dedicated riders.

Lexie Thacker and Best Kept Secret competing at The Event at Woodside. Marcus Green Outdoor Photography Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Eventing Team.

As we are still in our beginning stages, we have a small group of eight actively competing riders. We are the newest addition of equestrian athletes to Cal Poly, which also hosts an English and Western show team, dressage team, rodeo team, and polo team. Cal Poly has recently renovated the equine center on campus and now boasts brand new barns, large round pens, a walker, and a covered arena with state-of-the-art footing. Due to construction, the equine unit has not been open for boarding until June 2018.

Molly Gibbons and Calico at The Event at Woodside. Chris Gibbons Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Eventing Team.

Membership to the Cal Poly Event Team is open to any enrolled student in good academic standing with Cal Poly who wants to learn more about the sport. However, competing members must provide their own horse to ride and compete with. Most of our members board their horses at facilities off-campus and utilize their own trainers in the area either on-site or by trailering out for lessons. The team does not have a designated coach, but there are several amazing trainers located in the Central Coast area.

Molly Gibbons and Calico at The Event at Woodside. Chris Gibbons Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Eventing Team.

Our team is composed of riders of all levels ranging from Beginner Novice to twos-star. Many of our members have roots in Young Rider and Pony Club programs across the country, with two of our members representing Area VI at the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships. Kaley Sapper and Tuscan Sun earned a team gold medal in the 2017 CH-J* at Rebecca Farm and Josey Thompson and Pistol Annie earned a team bronze medal in the 2016 CICOY2* at the Colorado Horse Park. We are extremely lucky to be just 45 minutes south of one of the premier eventing facilities in Area VI, Twin Rivers Ranch, and 40 minutes from Paso Robles Horse Park, which hosts rated hunter/jumper shows and multiple schooling shows throughout the year.

Josey Thompson and Pistol Annie competing at The Event at Rebecca Farm. Shannon Brinkman Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Eventing Team.

We recently just participated in our first Intercollegiate Eventing Challenge at The Spring Event at Woodside organized by the UC Davis Event Team. Five of our members competed in the challenge at levels ranging from Novice to Intermediate. The challenge was a huge success, with six teams competing in the challenge. Lexie Thacker, Josey Thompson, and Molly Gibbons finished third, and Kaley Sapper and Tania Senter contributed respectful scores to their team which also featured Sonoma State eventer Amber Pearson. We hope the success of this challenge continues to grow the intercollegiate eventing community on the West Coast so we can someday host our own Championship like that on the East Coast.

Cal Poly quartermark by Kaley Sapper. Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Eventing Team.

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 and many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges throughout the year, 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. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score. Click here to learn more about the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

The USEA wants to feature your collegiate eventing team in our Intercollegiate Eventing Spotlight series! Please send your story and photos to Jessica Duffy to be featured.

Jun 05, 2020 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: June 6-7, 2020

This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.

Jun 05, 2020 Association News

USEA Podcast #259: Sinead Maynard's Recipe for a Successful Return to Competition

The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.

Jun 04, 2020 Eventing News

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee Postpones Inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill Due to COVID-19

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.

Jun 04, 2020 Competitions

USEA Events A-Z: Apple Knoll Farm Horse Trials

Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.

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