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Sat, 2018-04-14 09:03

Eventing at Virginia Tech Has That Hokie Spirit

Authored By: Brigid Sexton

Eventing at Virginia Tech was founded by a small group of ambitious students in 2015, hopeful to bring eventing into the already-established equestrian world at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is most well-known for its close-knit campus and making everyone feel a part of the Hokie community. We strive to create a loving team atmosphere and work to help each other in riding and balancing school responsibilities. Our greatest strength lies in the support system of team members, whether we compete or just want to be around other horse-loving people. Members frequently have movie nights, team dinners, meetings, and ride together.


Junior Nicole Spiropoulos and Henry (left) and Alumni Kathryn Poos and Lexi (right).

The team has grown from a small group to boasting over 15 actively competing members this semester. Our riders range in levels from Beginner Novice through Preliminary, with members in the past showing at the CIC* level. The team includes freshman through graduate students, all from different riding backgrounds and academic focuses. We’re motivated to continue to expand, compete at more Intercollegiate Challenges, and represent with multiple teams at the USEA Intercollegiate Championship in May 2018. We hope to improve on our third and fourth place team finishes at the Virginia Horse Trials Fall 2017 Intercollegiate Team Challenge.


Freshman Abigail Winfree and Deszi (left), Freshman Shannon Fralley and Alex (right).

We’re happy to welcome many freshmen this year and acknowledge the achievements of our graduating members. Original founder and graduating senior Jamie Farah currently shows third level dressage with her retired Preliminary level off-the-track Thoroughbred, Aisling. Graduate student Samantha Erwin was ranked the fifth in the nation as a Training Level Intercollegiate Rider in 2017. Freshman Abigail Winfree has had an exciting year, placing second in the Junior Training Rider division at the Morven Park Fall Horse Trials and placing 13th at the War Horse Championships at the Carolina Horse Park with her horse, Deszi. Freshman Ashley Kapinos was recently accepted as a member of the 2018 USPC International Tetrathlon Exchange Team. Senior Megan Williams was recently the reserve champion at the Virginia Horse Trials Jumper Derby on her green off-the-track Thoroughbred, Sol Invictus.


Seniors Amanda Petroski and Jamie Farah at the Fall Virginia Horse Trials sporting the Eventing at VT logo.

Eventing at Virginia Tech is excited to host our spring clinic fundraiser in April, featuring International Three-Day Event Rider Timothy Bourke. The clinic is open to riders of all levels and will be held at Paris Mountain Stables in Blacksburg, VA. As we continue into the spring semester the team looks forward to a busy season packed with starter trials, local events, jumper derbies, and combined tests before making our third trip to the USEA Intercollegiate Championship in May at the Virginia Horse Trials!

For more information on joining our fun and competitive team, please contact upcoming president Brigid Sexton or visit our Facebook and Instagram @eventingatvirginiatech. Go Hokies!

All photos courtesy of the Virginia Tech Eventing Team.

About the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program

The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program was established in 2014 to provide a framework within which eventing teams and individual competitors could flourish at universities and colleges across the country. The USEA offers a discount of $25 on annual USEA memberships for current students of universities and colleges registered as Affiliates with the USEA and many events across the country now offer Intercollegiate Team Challenges throughout the year, where collegiate eventers can compete individually as well as on teams with their fellow students.

In Intercollegiate Team Challenges, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level to account for differences in level difficulty and then the individual scores are added together to determine the team score. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score. Click here to learn more about the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program.

The USEA wants to feature your collegiate eventing team in our Intercollegiate Eventing Spotlight series! Please send your story and photos to Jessica Duffy.

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