The United States Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to announce 21 athletes (16 riders and five stable managers) selected to participate in the 2016 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, presented by Dover Saddlery. Lake Erie College will host the National Training Session, as well as the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, presented by The Plaid Horse, which runs concurrently, November 10-13.
"We had so many talented riders at the training sessions this summer," said Sally Ike, chair of the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Committee. "We had a hard time choosing just 16 to ride and five stable managers, but we are very excited about the group that will be joining us for the National Training Session."
Of the more than 170 athletes who participated in training sessions across the country, the following athletes were selected to participate in the 2016 EAP National Training Session with Olympian Peter Wylde and stable manager Anne Thornbury:
National Training Session Athletes:
Ranked National Training Session Stable Managers:
Finalists are closely observed and evaluated during all phases of the four-day National Training Session, including flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, an intensive stable-management curriculum, and through a written test that gauges the horsemanship knowledge each finalist has gained throughout the year.
The EAP National Training Session concludes with a two-round Nations Cup-style competition, where riders are placed on teams of four to compete head-to-head. This team format offers the riders an opportunity to showcase their riding skills as well as their ability to perform under pressure. One rider will be named the overall USHJA EAP National Champion and will be awarded a $3,000 grant to be applied toward the cost of advanced training, a $1,500 gift certificate from Dover Saddlery, a variety of additional products and gifts from USHJA sponsors and more.
The Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, presented by The Plaid Horse, will be held in conjunction with the 2016 EAP National Training Session. The HQC Nationals is a multi-phase event that puts the top scoring participants, who advanced through HQC Levels One and Two, to the ultimate test. The HQC Nationals, formerly the HQC Finals, consists of a written exam, a horsemastership/identification exam, and a final practicum that requires participants to demonstrate their mastery of practical horsemanship knowledge.
Twenty-four individuals who score the highest on the Level Two Quiz will be invited to compete in the HQC Nationals. Members selected for the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals will be notified later this month, as qualifying ended today.
This is the first year the National Training Session and HQC Nationals have been held at Lake Erie College's George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center. The school is also offering horses on which the EAP riders will compete. The 86-acre facility offers a 100' x 225' indoor arena that offers seating for 700 spectators, where the EAP National Training Session will be held, and a Learning Center that overlooks the main indoor ring, where the HQC Nationals will take place.
"We extend a special thank you to Lake Erie College for hosting us at their wonderful facility," continued Ike.
"Lake Erie College is honored to be hosting the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session," said Mary Pardee, assistant professor of equine studies and director of riding at Lake Erie College. "We have a long and rich tradition as one of the oldest and largest Equine Studies programs in the country and our founder, Laddie Andahazy, established the first Grand Prix in the United States here in Cleveland, OH. Our focus is on training the next generation of horsewomen and men, mirroring the goals of the Emerging Athletes Program and Horsemanship Quiz Challenge. We look forward to meeting the exceptional athletes that will be attending this year's National Training Session. Our goal is to provide a wonderful string of horses from Lake Erie College and the Ohio equestrian community as well as excellent facilities for riding, classroom lectures and the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge."
The Emerging Athletes Program and the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge are supported in part by a generous grant from the United States Equestrian Federation, as well as individual donors through the USHJA Foundation.