The Emerging Athletes Program, presented by Dover Saddlery, was created to provide opportunities for young riders to advance their education in their pursuit to become knowledgeable horsemen within the hunter/jumper community. Since the Program's inception in 2009, EAP athletes have gone on to accomplish numerous championships in the Hunter, Jumper and Equitation show rings including the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search East and the ASPCA Maclay Finals.
How It Works
Riders interested in participating in the Emerging Athletes Program must:
Regional Training Sessions
Riders accepted into the EAP, begin by participating in an EAP Regional Training Session. During the extensive five-day Regional Training Sessions, riders have the opportunity to work with top riding clinicians and some of the country’s leading stable managers, where instruction focuses on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, as well as an intensive stable-management curriculum that incorporates proper care and grooming, horsemanship skills, and barn management. Riders provide their own horses for the Regional Training Session and are expected to provide all necessary care themselves. Horses should be comfortable jumping a jumper-style course at 1.10m.
National Training Session
Once the Regional Training Sessions conclude, 16 riders and a select number of stable managers will be invited to attend the National Training Session. Selection of the riders and stable managers for the National Training Session is based on their riding and stable-management skills, written test results and potential shown during their Regional Training Session.
During the four-day National Training Session, riders train under the instruction of Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Wylde, while riding and caring for a horse provided by the host facility and randomly selected, with each rider starting on a fair and level playing field.
Finalists are closely observed and evaluated during all phases of the National Training Session including riding sessions, stable-management sessions, barn chores, and through a written test that gauges the knowledge each finalist has gained throughout the year. At the end of the National Training Session, one rider is named the overall USHJA EAP National Training Session Champion and is awarded a $3,000 grant to be applied toward the cost of advanced training with an approved trainer, among additional prizes.
The Emerging Athletes Program is supported in part by a generous grant from the United States Equestrian Federation, as well as individual donors through the USHJA Foundation. To help support the EAP program, click here to make a charitable donation today.