USC-Aiken to Host College Team Challenge at Full Gallop Farm

Brendan Quinn is a member of the University of South Carolina-Aiken Eventing Team who blogs about collegiate eventing for EN. This week, Brendan has exciting news: USC-Aiken will be hosting a new college team challenge at Full Gallop Farm this fall! Many thanks to Brendan for writing.

Hannah Cangilla and Gentle Ben. Photo by Chris Quinn.

Hannah Cangilla and Gentle Ben at Sporting Days. Photo by Chris Quinn.

From Brendan:

In the past couple weeks, the USC-Aiken Eventing Team has been talking to Lara Anderson over at Full Gallop Farm about the possibility of hosting a team challenge at her facility. She jumped at the idea of it and told us that it would require very little extra effort on her part with putting it on. This also helped our case with our advisor, who thought it would require a ton of work for both parties and a lot of extra insurance and things like that.

Turns out, all that really happens is we have to get an additional, non-biased scorer  to score for us, and they riders just write what team they are on when they fill out their entry. It also requires no extra insurance because the horse and rider are already entered in the competition.

We have decided to host the team challenge during Full Gallop’s November Horse Trials and are extending an invitation to any college teams that are interested. As long as you write what team you are part of on your entry, you will be stabled with your team, and the plan is for all of the college teams to stable in the same area.

Another big thing that we have been working on is fundraising. It’s hard to do anything if you have no money, so we have been brainstorming fundraising ideas and hope to act on some of those ideas very soon. In addition to brainstorming about fundraising, another big item has been things that identify the riders and horses as a team. These would be things like saddle pads, shirts, hats, banners, things of that nature, to make us stand out as a group.

Results Update

USC-Aiken had several riders competing at the Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials in Aiken. Hannah Cangilla rode her horse, Gentle Ben, in their first Training together and started the day off with a 41.0, placing them in ninth after dressage. Hannah and Ben didn’t pick up any extra points in show jumping, putting up a double clear round, moving them up into seventh. They continued this trend into the cross-country phase, going double clear again, moving Hannah and Ben into fourth place.

Marissa Collins rode her horse, Carino, in Training as well and earned a 39.50 in dressage, starting them in sixth place. In the show jumping phase, Marissa and Carino went clear jumping, but did incur one time penalty, giving them a 40.5, but they remained in sixth place. On cross-country however, Marissa and Carino had an unfortunate parting of ways at the bank combination after the water, causing them to be eliminated.

Meet the Team

Meet Kailey Downing, one of two recruitment officers for the USC-Aiken Eventing Team. She came here from Lexington, S.C., with her horse Kismet, and they have been eventing for three years now. With her recruitment position, Kailey is one of the people in charge of answering any questions incoming students might have about the eventing team, and she also encourages students at USC-Aiken to join the equestrian club and Eventing team.

When asked what she thought the best quality of our team was, she told me that she there was no “I’m better than you drama” amongst all the team members, and that everyone is very encouraging of one another. When I asked her the opposite question — about where the team needed improvement — she simply said that we are not a very unified team at the moment. When Kailey graduates, she wants the team to become more organized and for the team to have some practices together.

I then asked Kailey where she wanted to see the team at in five years, and she told me that she wanted us to have a common barn where we could board our horses and our trainers could come and give us lessons, and this would also help to unify us more. In 10 years, she wants to see us hosting an annual team challenge and for us to be fielding two or more teams at the Clemson team challenge.

Lastly, I asked her the big question of where she wanted to see collegiate eventing as a whole end up in 5 and 10 years, and her answer was that in five years, she wanted to have college team challenges become much more common in all areas of the country, and in 10 years, she hopes that collegiate eventing will be recognized as a team sport.

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