The USEA has announced that the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship will return to Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. May 24-27, 2018.
VHT hosted the first two years of the Intercollegiate Championship in 2016 and 2017. It was a brand new concept at the time but still wildly successful, with 10 schools and 10 teams at the inaugural Championship rising to 17 schools and 21 teams in the second year.
“We are thrilled to have the Intercollegiate Championship return to Virginia Horse Trials for one more year. To have participation more than double in the first two years of the Championship was very exciting and we look forward to continued progress in 2018,” said VHT Organizer Andy Bowles.
“It has been wonderful to be involved in the development of the Intercollegiate program. The enthusiasm from the students and the support of parents, coaches, and school faculty indicates that the future is bright for the Intercollegiate program. We are thankful to have played a part in that and hope to play a part in the future.”
Following the 2018 edition, the USEA will accept expressions of interest from organizers to determine the location of the 2019-2021 Intercollegiate Championships. The Championship will continue on a three-year venue rotation in order to “spread the concept and vary the ability of colleges and universities potentially limited by proximity to attend.”
“The Intercollegiate Program and its Championship are very important to the USEA. It is a central component of our larger strategic plan,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “In the first two years of the Championship, getting the right host site was vital. The Virginia Horse Center along with organizer Andy Bowles, team coordinator Leslie Threlkeld, and the whole team from the Virginia Horse Trials have knocked it out of the park! We are excited to have one more year of the Intercollegiate Eventing Championships in Virginia.”
During the Intercollegiate Open Forum at the USEA Convention last week, the Intercollegiate Committee reported that in 2017, there were 215 USEA members who received the discounted Collegiate Membership and 33 colleges and universities registered as affiliates, which makes those schools eligible to compete at the Intercollegiate Championship. In 2017, 23 of those affiliates sent teams to a either the Championship or an intercollegiate team challenge (or both).
The Intercollegiate program is strong on the East Coast with Areas 2, 3 and 8 have the most affiliates (six or more) while Areas 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have only one or two affiliates. Areas 9 and 10 have none. Reaching out to event organizers and schools in the less active areas in order to promote the Intercollegiate program is a focus of the Committee going forward.
Are you interested in joining an Intercollegiate Eventing Team? Click here to see if your school is already a registered affiliate with the USEA.
Want to start a team at your college or university? The Intercollegiate Committee has created a guide to assist students in forming teams at their college or university and also a guide to assist organizers in running a collegiate team challenge at their event. Those documents are available on the USEA website here and here.
We’re huge fans of the Intercollegiate Program here at EN and we’re so excited to watch this program thrive!