Who has the swankiest stall set-up? Is it awkward that there are two teams with orange and navy as their cross country colors? Why are the University of Georgia riders wearing sumo wrestling suits? And who in the world is “Terpretariat”?
All will be revealed soon at the inaugural USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship, held this weekend in conjunction with Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Va.
Ten teams, fielded by horse/rider combinations from eight colleges and universities, will be riding in hot pursuit of one singular goal: bringing honor and glory home to their institutes of higher learning. (And also, of course, having fun.)
“History is being made here with the first ever intercollegiate eventing championship. I can’t wait to look back 20 years from now and think how this is the day it all started,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “The college riders that are here this weekend are the future of the sport, and the USEA is proud to partner with the Virginia Horse Center to make this possible for intercollegiate eventing and for the sport as a whole.”
To account for differences in level difficulty, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level and then the individual scores are added together to determine the team score. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score. The team with the lowest score at the end of three phases will be named the 2016 Intercollegiate Champion. Team ribbons and prizes will be awarded through sixth place.
In addition, a “Spirit Award” will be given to the college or university that shows the most rah-rah ‘tude and goes the craziest with decorations in the “College Town” stabling complex.
Here are the contenders! (We tried to incite some good old-fashioned smack talk as well.)
Sarah Pyne / Call Me Commander – CCI*
Samantha Hay / Tre’ Jolie -Training
Anna Fogerty / Dunlavin Fox – Novice
Alex Peterson / Willie Wiggins – CCI*
Colors: Orange, purple and white
Why Clemson is the best: “What’s best about our team is that we truly are a team. We have girls from every background. Some are competing at the CCI* this weekend in Virginia while one of our girls just completed her first starter horse trial at FENCE. Every single girl on our team competing that weekend was out on cross country cheering her on and met her at the finish. We really try to focus on the horsemanship, including everyone, and developing better overall horse women, not just the showing aspect of being on a team.”
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA RED
Devon Olivier / Karisma – Training
Emily Cardin / Schwalbestrum – Novice
Emily Cox / FR’s Check It Out Now – Training
Kaitlyn Ruff / Shadowfax – Training
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA BLACK
Katie Harivel / Counterpoint – Training
Johannah Crumpton / Tip Share – Novice
Erin Jarboe / Arsiero – Novice
Morgan Barnhardt / Come and Get It – Novice
Colors: Black and red
Why UGA is the best: The UGA Eventing Team IS insanity in the middle.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Ellen Bouchard / Gibstar – Beginner Novice
Melissa Fox / Diamond Legacy – Training
Alex Reed / On Broadway – CCI*
Colors: Navy and orange
Why UVA is the best: Formed in November 2011, the UVA Eventing and Dressage Team is a tightly knit group of riders/friends. Plus, they’ve got the home court advantage!
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Jordan Litter / Timekeeper – Novice
Jennifer Price / Timely Fashion – Training
Rachael Miller / Tough Enough – Novice
Claudia Romeo / Little Valkyrie – Training
Mascot: Diamondback Terrapin
Colors: Black, white, red and gold
Why the University of Maryland Eventing Team is the best: “Despite being a new team we have started off running, hosting a clinic with Daniel Stewart earlier this month and now sending a full team to the Intercollegiate Championships. We also provide a way for intercollegiate eventers to come together in an area that has a lot of riding opportunities, but hasn’t had a team until now.”
Also, one word: TERPRETARIAT (see below).
Lydia Kennedy / Subtle Dream Unveiled – Novice
Andrea Glazer / Arctic Fernhill – Training
Sallie Johnson / One Moore Miracle – Training
Kaley Bush / Cooper – Training
Colors: Navy and orange
Why Auburn is the best: “Our eventing team is the best because we have a lot of experience and have a great team representing Auburn. We are so excited to meet the other teams and compete together as a team! We’re all really close and honestly have so much fun at shows together so we’re just so excited to be here!”
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY / TRANSYLVANIA
Michaela Yowaiski / Darla Doll (UK) – Intermediate
Renata Petraitis / Tappin’ to the Music (UK) – Training
Charlotte Pruet / Valadour (Transylvania) – Training
Abby Blackburn / Joy Girl (Transylvania) – Novice
UK mascot: Wildcat
UK colors: Blue and white
Why UK in the best: Direct quote from 2014 EN Collegiate Eventing Spotlight on the team: “We are actually most notably known for our sledjoring team. Unfortunately, lack of snow has slowed our progress this season.” WHUT.
Transylvania mascot: Pioneer
Transylvania colors: Crimson
Why Transylvania is the best: “Transy Eventing is the BEST because we are located in the heart of the horse capital of the world, Lexington, KY and Eventing is a VARSITY sport at our school!!!”
BRIDGEWATER / AVERETT
Zach Hinch / Chamaco Loci – Novice
Michaela Bragg / Prado-Gee – Beginner Novice
Amelia Bayer / Road to Redemption – Prelim
Alex Argentieri / San Marco (Averett) – Training
Averett mascot: Cougar
Averett colors: Blue and gold
Why Averett is the best: Students in the Equestrian Studies Program have the opportunity to attend clinics, workshops and seminars in addition to classes.
BRIDGEWATER / CLEMSON
Amelia Bayer / Handsome Devil (Bridgewater) – Prelim
Sarah Pyne / Quintessential (Clemson) – CCI*
Kaitlyn Bardos / The Myth of Arion (Clemson) – Training
Bridgewater mascot: Eagle
Bridgewater colors: Crimson and gold
Why Bridgewater is the best: “We are the best because our competing team consists entirely of OTTBs. Two of our three members are competing in their first ever event — we aren’t afraid to try something new!”
COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY / UVA
Melissa Fox / Command Approval (UVA) – Training
Lily Barlow / Tullymor’s Houdini (Columbus State University) – Beg Novice
Erin Chalmers / Light the Lights (Columbus State University) – Novice
Columbus State mascot: Cougar
Columbus State colors: Red, white and blue
Why Columbus State is the best: The team is based at Poplar Place Farm and has Werner Geven as its coach!
Best of luck to all the teams. Go Collegiate Eventing!