Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 9, 2023—More than 130 equestrians representing 58 stables across all 12 USHJA Zones put their horsemanship knowledge to the test this year to complete the 30-day USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge. The USHJA congratulates the following trainers and their barns who earned the highest scores in each Zone and will be receiving prize packages for their barns:
Of the winning teams, Zone 11 was led by a USHJA Certified Trainer and Zone 3 was representing a USHJA Recognized Riding Academy. This year, Zone 3 had the most participants with 12 teams, and the overall high score winning team's trainer was Sara Kirby of Creekside Equestrian in Zone 8.
"I think it’s so important for my students to not only be able to ride well, but to be able to care for their horses as well. They may keep them at their own farm one day. They must know a lot about their care," said Zone 4 winning trainer Pigue from Primm Springs, Tennessee, with Flying Pigue Farm.
To prepare the team from Zone 4, Pigue was creative in incorporating study time. "During lessons, when they are walking and catching their breath, I ask them questions. I also do Wednesday camp days through the summer where we ride, do something educational, and then do something like ride bareback or ride down to the river. Sometimes, they have to answer a question right before they can jump a jump."
"Horsemanship is the foundation of our riders and an important aspect of the sport," stated Best from Toano, Virginia, who led the Zone 3 winning barn, Stonehouse Stables. "Knowing how to take care of your horse is a vital part of being a good rider and should be hands-on education on a daily basis. We as a barn practice horsemanship and educate ourselves to be the best we can on a regular basis by working with our vets, farriers, clients and vendors to ensure our horses have all that they need to perform at their best."
The Stable Challenge was designed to engage a trainer's entire barn as a team. At least three students per trainer had to complete the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Practice Quiz between July 1 and August 1, to be eligible for prizes. At the end of the 30-day challenge, the three top scores under each trainer were averaged to provide an overall score. Participants who also took the Level One and Level Two HQC quizzes received 10 bonus points for each level they complete.
"I am a big advocate for teams," said Knapp from Lagrangeville, New York, and Zone 2 winner with Crosswinds Stables. "I am an athletic coach and an IEA coach, so I really love seeing the collaboration that's involved at the horsemanship level."
The highest scoring trainer in each USHJA Zone won a unique trainer-inspired award package designed to benefit the entire barn, which included a Nutrena gift certificate, grooming items from Exhibitor’s, a one-year USHJA membership, three one-year non-competing USHJA memberships for team participants, and a 2024 Recognized Riding Academy membership.
"I always encourage my IEA students to take the horsemanship quizzes and test them organically. This quiz challenge was a really nice way for both amateurs and newbies to be involved," Knapp continued. "My students all work hands-on in the barn and that really is what helped them do well on the quizzes. I am really proud of how hard they have all worked throughout the years and this is proof of how hard they dedicate themselves."
The Stable Challenge was originally created to promote the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Program and get members excited about advancing their horsemanship knowledge at all ages. USHJA members can still participate in the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge and compete for a chance to go to HQC Nationals until September 1. The Horsemanship Quiz Challenge is supported in part by grants from US Equestrian and the USHJA Foundation.
Photos: Terise Cole/USHJA