VHT International welcomes over 500 horses for the Memorial Day weekend event at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. The premiere competition is the fifth annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, which Virginia Horse Trials is pleased to host for the fourth time.
Students from 14 colleges and universities around the country are housed together in “College Town,” which is decorated top to bottom with streamers, balloons, and flags. Students are showing their school spirit, wearing school colors and cheering for their classmates ringside.
The 2021 Intercollegiate Championships is breaking records with a total of 105 entries and 29 teams. There are two separate Championship divisions: the traditional Championship for undergraduate students and a Graduate division.
At the conclusion of dressage for the CCI3*-L, University of Kentucky (UK) rider Cosby Green sits in second place with Bel Mar Farm’s Copper Beach. Their score of 28.7 is just one point behind division leader Daniel Clasing and Olney Uncle Sam.
“I was given the ride on ‘Sean’ about eight months ago from Buck Davidson Jr,” Green said. “We’ve just really started to get to know one another, and this winter we have really started to click. It just keeps getting better each time, and we are definitely falling more and more in love with one another, so it’s a great partnership.”
Green is competing two horses for UK, which brought eight teams forward to the Championships.
“I never thought that I wanted to go to college, but the fact that I’m here and I’m doing it makes me very proud to be able to do all that I can with everyone here,” Green said. “It’s fun to be here with friends — that’s the best part. My best friends are a part of this barn, and it’s not often that we all get to be here together, so that’s special to be able to cheer everyone on. It’s a professional environment, but it’s also very supportive and fun.”
UK is on a roll, with a leader in the CCI1*-L division. Hannah Warner and Drombane Dynamite scored a 27.6 to top the division of 18 starters.
“Everything we’ve been working on finally came together. And he tries so hard,” Warner said. “I’m so happy to be here with everybody. We have such a great group here this weekend to support. I did my final salute in my test and I got a ‘Go Cats!’ chant.”
The opening ceremonies for the Intercollegiate Championships took place Friday evening, kicking off the Championships in style. Schools entered the coliseum showing their very best and loudest school spirit.
“It was so much fun. I think we did our Cats chant 20 times and it still didn’t feel like enough,” Warner said. “We’re just excited to get the weekend going and keep the spirit going.”