FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEXINGTON, Ky., – March 16, 2018 – During the new USHJA Gold Star Clinics, featuring lead clinician Richard Spooner, riders were not only challenged in the tack but in the barn and the classroom as well. The media presentation, given by Brenda Mueller of Marketing 4 Equestrians/Chicago Equestrian, put #GoldStarEast against #GoldStarWest in a social media showdown as part of their homework during the clinic to exercise what they learned and to win prizes from USHJA.
The Gold Star Clinics are part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which offers an entry point to the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway. The Gold Star Clinic - East was held December 27-30, 2017, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, and the Gold Star Clinic - West section was held January 18 -21, 2018, at the Hits Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.
Mueller challenged riders at the two clinics to outdo each other in a social media competition to promote the clinic and practice concepts covered in the media presentation. Riders had to use the hashtags #GoldStarEast or #GoldStarWest for their posts to count toward the contest.
Riders from Gold Star Clinic - East took the prize in the Facebook category with a total of 36 posts over Gold Star Clinic - West's 31 posts. However, Gold Star Clinic - West took the top spot in the Instagram category with over 60 posts, while Gold Star Clinic - East had 50 posts.
In addition to team winners on Facebook and Instagram, individual winners were decided according to their posts' engagement, the number of likes, views or comments generated, on either platform following the clinics. Facebook Gold went to East's Amelia Zahn for her post of "Many thanks" with 129 likes and 37 comments. Facebook Silverwent to West's Aubrie Munson with 7 likes and 126 views of her video post. Instagram Gold went to West's Sydney Luzicka (@hidden.on.horseback) with 55,462 views for "What does ambition mean to you?" Instagram Silver went to East's Carolina Villanueva (@carolinavillanuevasuarez) with her "Thank you Andy Kocher" post, landing 2,211 likes.
Gold and Silver individual winners will receive a branded polo from USHJA, and team winners will each receive a special gift from USHJA.
The USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program serves as the entry point for the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway, a joint USHJA-US Equestrian effort that identifies and nurtures Jumping athletes as they advance through the sport to enhance future success for Olympic and international teams representing the United States. The clinics are part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which was launched earlier this year in conjunction with the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, to identify Jumper athletes who have the skill and desire to excel in the sport. Individual medalists from the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships received the designation of Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders, regardless of age, and are invited, along with their coaches and parents, to attend one of these clinics.