The USEA and Virginia Horse Trials have announced that the Intercollegiate Eventing Championship will return to the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va. in 2017.
The Virginia Horse Center hosted the inaugural Intercollegiate Eventing Championship this May and by all accounts the competition was a resounding success. Ten colleges and universities fielded students and their horses, forming ten teams and setting the stage for an exciting Championship debut.
Although Clemson University held a secure lead through the first two days, the gap closed on the final day of competition and the University of Georgia Red team pulled ahead to win by a fraction of a point. All the teams brought their A-game, with less than ten points separating the top four finishing teams.
It’s no secret that many eventers allow their USEA membership to lapse during their college years, but the association is making a concerted effort to retain members, and the increasing popularity of eventing teams at colleges and universities around the country is a major contributing factor in providing incentive for students to keep riding.
VHT organizer Andy Bowles said he is “keen” on the Intercollegiate program and that it is good for VHT to be involved. After a successful first run of the Championship, it will only get bigger and better from here. “The base we’ve got is extremely strong and is something to build on,” Andy said in a statement.
Andy and VHT went all out to make the inaugural Championship one to remember. The students’ horses were stabled together in the Eastern Complex where schools decorated their stall areas and set up tables and tents to promote their schools’ equestrian programs. The incentive of the Spirit Award upped the ante when it came to showing school pride, and we expect even more face paint, color coordinated outfits, school swag and cheerleading next year.
“The USEA is thrilled to have the Intercollegiate Championship return to The Virginia Horse Trials next year,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “We were so pleased with how smoothly the inaugural competition went thanks to Andy Bowles and the rest of his incredible team. This top class facility is an ideal place to let the championship grow, and we look forward to seeing how much bigger and better it can be in 2017.”
Learn more about the USEA’s Intercollegiate Program here. If your school is not yet affiliated with the USEA, get all the information you need to make that happen here and remember college students receive a $25 discount on their USEA membership.