Big news following a successful weekend for young riders at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-day Event: the new MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program will now be administered by the USEA Foundation. The program was first introduced at Bromont Three-day Event last June when nine riders under the age of 25 were awarded grants of $3,000 Canadian to assist with the expenses incurred in preparing for and competing in the Bromont CCI. A complete training program was devised to help the riders prepare themselves and their horses for the competition. An additional six riders were invited to participate in the training sessions and were given free entries to the event.
The program was then extended to include the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-day Event, which took place last week in Reddick, Florida. The following riders, who were awarded grants to assist with their preparation and competition expenses, produced some impressive results.
- Nicole Aden & Truckee Bash – 14th, CCI4*-S
- Arielle Aharoni & Dutch Times – RF XC, CCI4*-L
- Charlotte Babbitt & 2 A.M. – 17th, CCI3*-L
- Isabelle Bosley & Night Quality – 7th, CCI2*-L
- Elizabeth Henry & Charlotte La Bouff – 22nd, CCI2*-L
- Ema Klugman – 20th in CCI2*-L with Bronte Beach; 3rd in CCI4*-L with Bendigo
- Barrett Phillips & Whole Nine Yards – 34th in CCI2*-L
- Kaelen Speck & Sweet Rebellion – 5th, CCI4*-S
- Nicholas Staples & WF Drousseau – 53rd, CCI2*-L
- Samantha Tinney & Glenbrook Cooley – 28th, CCI2*-L
Chair of the USEA Foundation, Diane Pitts, said, “We are thrilled to welcome the MARS Bromont Rising program into the USEA Foundation family. Assisting our developing riders through education and opportunity are important goals of the USEA and the USEA Foundation and this program furthers those goals. We look forward to working with the organizers of this program.”
The riders were invited to a two-day training session at Mardanza Farms in Ocala, Florida, with top coaches providing instruction. Sessions include a Centerline Workshop with a review of the FEI dressage tests and hints on how to improve their scores through ringmanship. Sara and Brian Murphy not only lent their expertise in the dressage and show jumping sessions but also generously provided a welcome dinner with special guest Leslie Law as a speaker.
The second day’s session included test rides judged by Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride and an inside view of show jumping course design as presented by Chris Barnard. Max Corcoran followed this up with a detailed lesson on managing competition horses from the ground.
Of critical importance to the futures of these young riders is the ability to attract and retain owners and sponsors. Two of the sport’s most supportive owners, Steve Blauner and Jim Wildasin of the Event Owners Task Force, were on site to help explain this vital aspect of the sport.
Riders put into practice the tips taught in the lecture.
The training sessions wrapped up with a welcome party hosted by Fredericks Equestrian. Cross-country schooling opportunities were made available by Jon Holling.
The MARS Bromont Rising U25 award recipients then headed to the Ocala Jockey Club, where they will be treated to a celebrity course walk with none other than six-time Badminton winner and veteran of numerous Olympic and World Championships teams, Lucinda Green.
Mark Hart, trustee of the USEA Foundation, recognized those who had made the Bromont Rising program possible when he said: “This program was established by Steve Blauner, an event horse owner who saw the need to develop and support the next generation of Team riders. He has enthusiastically shared his vision with other Team horse owners such as Jacqueline Mars who is currently cosponsoring the program with Steve to get it firmly established. For this vision the USEA Foundation and the sport thanks them.”
The USEA Foundation is delighted to be involved with such an admirable and worthwhile program and thanks all those who have made this venture possible.