The 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Program is filled with talented and determined upcoming professionals. Just like the rest of us, these young adults have continued to persist throughout the suspension of competitions. In this three-part series, you will get to find out how some of these riders spent their quarantine. In part one, we catch up with Zoe Crawford and Madison Temkin. You can read part one of the series with Alyssa Phillips, Megan Sykes, and Woodge Fulton here.
Zoe Crawford, from Reddick, Florida, started this season out strong with K.B.S Quick Strike and K.E.C Zara picking up few penalties to add on to their dressage scores at Red Hills. Zoe and K.E.C Zara have been partners since 2015.
“Of course the cancellation of the spring season was very disappointing especially when I had my sights set on my first 5* at Kentucky. The first few weeks of quarantine I gave my horses a little downtime. They had a few weeks out in the field and then went on lots of hacks and trail rides. It is sometimes nice to not have the pressures of a competition calendar to enjoy just riding and being around horses.
“The funny thing about horses is they sort of train you for times like these. That is the unexpected and unplanned. Although there are no competitions to help stay motivated, I have found that I have really enjoyed having this time with my horses. There are so many training videos on the internet of different cavaletti, dressage, and showjump exercises that I usually wouldn’t have time to try because of competitions. Quarantine has been great for trying new exercises, training techniques, and approaches to improving the overall quality of my horses’ work.
“Along with online training videos to try I love watching old competition videos from Burghley, Badminton and Kentucky. You can find plenty of years’ worth of competition videos online. I want to be at those events competing one day. Watching the likes of Andrew Nicolson, Ros Cantor, and Michael Jung gallop around those enormous tracks effortlessly motivates me to work as hard as I can so that one day I will be riding around those tracks too!”
Madison Temkin is from Sebastopol, California and has been competing on Dr. Hart and MVP Madbum. Madison and both of her horses had a great run last season, ending in the top 15 at Stable View and Fresno County Horse Park.
“During these times of uncertainty this spring I have found different ways to keep myself and my horses motivated. Luckily for me, I live on my farm. As the world around us feels a bit like it is collapsing, I have been blessed in the fact that my life truly hasn’t changed that much. At the beginning of quarantine, I backed off of my upper level horses a bit and gave them an easy few weeks.
“As we begin to (hopefully) see a light at the end of the tunnel, I have begun training harder again. I have taken this time of no shows to really work on my flat work as well as some footwork and ride-ability exercises in the jumping, that really work on educating my horses and making them think. The horses have also been doing quite a bit of water fitness work which has been a great tool to get them fitter and stronger without the stress on their legs. It’s incredible to see how much they have changed over these last few weeks because of it. One of the most motivating things for me is that because we have had all this time off, I want to come out with stronger, more competitive, and fitter horses than I had in the beginning of the year.
“One of the other things that has helped me stay very motivated and focused is that this time off of traveling has been an incredible opportunity to work with the young horses and my students. As much as I strive to see change and improvement in my own riding and my competition horses, I love to see and feel the young horses develop as it gives me a bit of a glimpse into the future with them which in itself, is very motivating for me. It’s hard when we are traveling and competing to truly give them the time they need.
“I have been able to continue taking lessons and most recently had a great couple days of lessons with Tamie Smith, which just makes me even more eager to get back to it. This was definitely not my plan for 2020, but life tends to throw curveballs and at the end of the day, what matters most is how you react to them. I hope that we can get back to showing soon and finish off the year with a few great events.”
“With so much happening around me on the farm it’s been hard to lack motivation — we have a brilliant place to train now and I’m so incredibly grateful for that — the only thing that can dampen the positivity is the possibility that the remaining fall fixtures will cancel. In that case — we will come to guns blazing in 2021! Cheers to all, and hoping to see you all (distantly) soon!”