The third annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Virginia kicks off bright and early tomorrow morning with riders competing at nearly every level offered this weekend, from Beginner Novice all the way up through Intermediate and the CCI*/CIC2*. This year, a record 23 teams and 18 schools will compete in the Championship, more than double the number of rider and team entries from the inaugural year in 2016. The first year of the Championship it was the University of Georgia Red team who was crowned champion. Last year it was the Clemson Tigers that took home the blue ribbon.
“We’re here, we’re hungry, and I would watch out for the Dawgs!” University of Georgia said. “Being a NCAA D3 school, Eventing is the only team sport [at Transylvania] that competes against the ‘big’ schools,” stated Transylvania University. Auburn University shared that, “Our team has been looking forward to the Championship all year.” Friendly competitive atmosphere, lifelong friendships, and lucky charms; it’s time for the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Intercollegiate Eventing Championship at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Virginia on May 24-27, 2018.
The Texas A&M Eventing Team is fired up to bring the spirit of Aggieland to the Third Annual Intercollegiate Championship. Founded in 2016, the team is a young addition to A&M; however, the team has grown significantly in the past two years with 33 active members. Last year, the team was ecstatic about winning the 2017 Spirit Award and having one of their two teams finish fifth.
The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. is gearing up for the annual spring CCI/CIC and Horse Trials and USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship May 24-27. Around 450 horses from Beginner Novice through the CIC2* level will descend upon the Virginia Horse Center next week.
"The facility looks great, the courses are in top shape and we are looking forward to everyone arriving and enjoying a weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains," VHT Organizer Andy Bowles said.
The 2018 Intercollegiate Eventing Championship will take place next weekend at the Virginia Horse Trials, May 24-27, 2018, and this week on the USEA Podcast we’re previewing the event with some members of the team who make this Championship possible!
Rob Burk starts things off with an overview of the USEA Intercollegiate Program, which was officially established in 2014 and has grown exponentially over the last few years and now encompasses 30 colleges and universities and 300 student-athletes. He also discusses how the intercollegiate program fits into the greater eventing pipeline and other plans for youth programs in the future.
After hugs and photos (lots of photos!) we parted ways at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia with renewed confidence and enthusiasm. We had just won the 2017 USEA Intercollegiate Championships! Busy summers lay ahead for all of us – college internships, a study abroad in Spain, first days of professional careers, home state competitions, a Bromont entry and even an AEC registration. Our riders worked hard and competed plenty over the next three months. Then come mid-August, we loaded up our horses and traveled back to Clemson, South Carolina where all 37 members enjoy the unique camaraderie of studying and riding together.
The Auburn University Eventing Team has developed into a force to be reckoned with over the past couple of years, and they are full steam ahead in their preparations for the 2018 USEA Intercollegiate Championship. Founded in 2013 as one of the first teams to be recognized with the USEA, the team has grown steadily and has quickly made a name for itself at Intercollegiate Team Challenges in Area III - notably winning both the 2017 March Poplar Place Team Challenge and the 2017 October Chattahoochee Hills Team Challenge. In addition, Auburn University finished in third place at the inaugural USEA Intercollegiate Championship in 2016, and was the only school with two teams that finished in the top 10 at the Championship in 2017.
Transylvania University was founded in 1780, the first college West of the Allegheny mountains and the 19th oldest in the nation. The Eventing team was founded at the University as a varsity sport in the Fall of 2012. Transylvania University, lovingly referred to as simply “Transy”, is a small private liberal arts college in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. The school is situated in downtown Lexington, minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park and a 25-30 minute drive to Three Day Farm, the home base for Transy’s eventing team in the rolling blue hills of Midway, Kentucky.
Founded in 2015, Randolph-Macon College’s eventing program is growing by leaps and bounds—so much so that the college recently purchased Coventry Farm, which boasts 70 acres of pasture, has space for 33 horses and includes an indoor riding arena. Dana Lesesne, director of the equestrian program, says the farm offers riders a top-quality facility in a beautiful setting.
Eventing at NC State was founded in 2016 with the intent of becoming a competitive collegiate team and is currently the only intercollegiate eventing team in North Carolina. Our main goal is to aid students in obtaining a higher level of education while continuing to event as part of a team. Currently our team has 15 active undergraduate members as well as five alumni members competing in levels Maiden through Training. Our riders come from all different backgrounds; some were raised in eventing barns, others rode western or hunter, and a few just started eventing when they joined the team.
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.
The USEA is accepting expressions of interest from potential host sites of the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Team Championship for two-to-three years, beginning in 2019.
Host site(s) should; be attractive and presentable venues, host recognized USEA/USEF eventing competitions, offer at a minimum Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels, have consistently good footing, have the ability to promote to and accommodate spectators, in addition to implementing a media plan with demonstrated ability to successfully work with local media. The USEA strives to have the Championship serve as a pipeline to success for college riders climbing the levels of the sport and the competition should offer a unique and memorable atmosphere for the collegiate competitors.