National Training Session

Sunny Drescher Shines at USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session

Findlay, OH - November 18 - After four days of riding instruction, stable management, a written test and the Nations Cup competition, Sunny Drescher stood out among her peers and earned top honors in the USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session, presented by Dover Saddlery, November 14-17. [Read More...]

Journey to EAP Nationals

Throughout the Emerging Athletes Program journey, the original group of 200 plus riders narrows to a select 16. Riders invited to participate in the USHJA EAP National Training Session are given the opportunity to train with several of the country’s top clinicians during this intensive three-and-a-half day training session. Throughout the three-and-a-half days, each finalist has the unique opportunity to ride and care for a horse provided by the host facility and assigned to them by the EAP representatives. Each rider starts on a fair and level playing field and must utilize all the skills they have honed throughout the entire EAP process to bond quickly with their equine partner.

The small group size allows the riders to work very closely with the clinicians during the riding and stable-management sessions throughout the several days. Finalists are again closely observed and evaluated during all phases of the National Training Session and are expected to be active participants in all activities. The riding sessions address flatwork and jumping, while stable-management sessions are hands-on, in-depth and extensive. Barn chores are monitored, and a written test gauges the knowledge each finalist has gained throughout the year. Additional clinics, such as veterinary seminars, trimming and shoeing, saddle fitting, and feeding regimens may be offered, as well.

Photo from Left-Right:
Anne Thornbury, Kip Rosenthal, Peter Wylde, Mary Babick, Sally Ike, Sunny Drescher, Sean Leckie

Riders and guests spend one final fun-filled evening together, complete with dinner and a Calcutta for the next, and final day's, Nations Cup-style competition. A two-round Nations Cup-style competition involving four teams of four riders each will complete the competition. This team format offers the riders an opportunity to showcase their riding skills as well as their ability to perform under pressure. An awards ceremony follows the competition, where one rider is named the overall USHJA EAP National Champion and is awarded a $3,000 grant to be applied toward the cost of advanced training with an approved trainer. Closing remarks from the clinicians bring each EAP year to an end, but for many of the riders, their participation in the EAP has brought them to the start of a new level of understanding and commitment to the hunter/jumper sport.

These young riders may run into each other at horse shows during the year, or this may be the only time they meet, but the camaraderie shared throughout the EAP process is an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.

The 2014 Emerging Athletes Program is supported in part by a generous grant from the United States Equestrian Federation.

Additional Links
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Meghan Carney – (859) 225-6721