Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 and 18 Program Training Sessions Set Rising Talent up for Success in 2017

Participants selected for the 2017 Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 and 18 Programs prepared for the competition season during winter training sessions with US Equestrian Eventing Emerging Athlete Coach Leslie Law. The training sessions held at Meredyth South began January 9-12 with the Eventing 25 participants, followed by the Eventing 18 participants on January 16-19. Law then traveled to California to teach the West Coast Eventing 25 and Eventing 18 participants, January 30-February 2, at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula.

During the training sessions, Law built on the riders’ skills and helped them develop a better understanding of training principles. Law focused on the basics and more individualized work for the combinations with dressage, gridwork and coursework for show jumping, and ride-ability for the different types of questions on the cross-country course.

“I thought we had three great sessions, and all together, I was very pleased and found it to be very rewarding,” Law said. “I always hope to give them a deeper knowledge and greater understanding. We do not necessarily focus on competitions as we would later in the year. The winter sessions are about taking the time to get a deeper understanding of training of the horse so the preparation is correct and we are not leaving gaps in the training. As you go up the levels, the gaps start to show, so we focused on the importance of the day-to-day training. There were also lots of lectures to develop a complete knowledge of horsemanship.”

The participants benefited from lectures focused on preparing their horses for competition, as well as building a well-rounded foundation for their futures in the eventing industry. During the Florida training sessions, the Eventing 25 athletes heard from top groom Max Corcoran on preparing horses for an event, fitness, and international travel, while Dr. Jill Copenhagen spoke about anatomy and nutrition. The Eventing 18 participants had similar discussions with Corcoran and Copenhagen, and also heard from Jo-Ann Wilson about equine physiology. During the California training sessions, participants learned from professional groom Shannon McCormick about grooming, preparing for an event, and grooming internationally, while Dr. Emily Sandler spoke about jogging, confirmation, and soundness.

“The Eventing 25 training session was a great way to start the new year. The program provides quality instruction both on and off the horse,” East Coast participant Savannah “Woodge” Fulton said. “Having all the riders gather in one place helps build camaraderie and team skills we will hopefully use in the future.”

West Coast Eventing 18 participant Mia Farley was also very pleased with her experience, saying, “I thought my training session experience this last week was a big learning curve for me and the horse. I took away so much information and training tips, and I’m excited to use the experience on horses at home. What I enjoyed the most about the Eventing 25/18 training session this year was being around all the professional riders. I was able to watch Leslie teach and ride horses, and being at Tucalota Creek Ranch allowed us to watch Tamie Smith and Heather Morris ride and train on their horses. It was interesting to see all the different training tips and techniques Leslie utilized for the horse-and-rider combinations. Thank you US Equestrian for this incredible opportunity; I can always look forward to being with the team!”

Here is a complete list of selected participants:

Eventing 25

Madeline Backus (Larkspur, Colo.)
Zachary Brandt (Ocala, Fla.)
Jenny Caras (Cartersville, Ga.)
Zoe Crawford (Jamaica Plain, Mass.)
*Cornelia Dorr (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.)
Jacob Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.)
Savannah (Woodge) Fulton (Ocala, Fla.)
Caroline Martin (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Morgan McCue (Malvern, Pa.)
Mackenna Shea (Temecula, Calif.)
*Lizzie Snow (Southern Pines, N.C.)

Eventing 18

Arielle Aharoni (Bedminster, N.J.)
Amanda Beale Clement (Phoenixville, Pa.)
Emma Ciafone (Castle Rock, Colo.)
Jane Cook (Dallas, Texas)
Haley Curry (Canton, Miss.)
Mia Farley (San Clemente, Calif.)
Grace Fulton (Finksburg, Md.)
Cosby Green (Lexington, Ky.)
Gigi Hogan (Heath, Texas)
Katie Lichten (Hamilton, Mass.)
Patience O’Neal (Fall City, Wash.)
Makenna Rold (Delano, Minn.)
Arden Stephens (Little Rock, Ark.)
Tayler Stewart (Damascus, Md.)
Madison Temkin (Sebastopol, Calif.)
Megan Traynham (Arbuckle, Calif.)
Cassandra Wallskog (Mequon, Wis.)
*Indicates rider(s) that were talent spotted into the program.