University of Georgia wins USEA Intercollegiate Championship at Virginia Horse Center

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Devon Olivier and Karisma riding Training for the University of Georgia Red team USEA/Shelby Allen Photo

Nine teams from eight colleges and universities competed in the inaugural United States Eventing Association Intercollegiate Championship on May 26-29 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. The title came down to a nail-biting finale with the first and second place teams separated by less than a point. University of Georgia’s Red Team moved ahead of the overnight leaders, Clemson University, on the final day of competition to ride away with the top spot with a combined score of 99.06.

Georgia’s team was made up of seniors Emily Cox, Kaityn Ruff and Devon Olivier in the training division and sophomore Emily Cardin in the novice division. They held second place after their dressage and show jumping phases on Saturday. Cox, Olivier and Cardin had the lowest collective scores, giving them the win after three double clear cross-country runs.

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Alex Peterson and Willie Wiggins riding in the CCI* for Clemson University USEA/Kate Boggan Photo

Clemson University saw some unfortunate rails for their CCI* combinations which set them back in the rankings, but the Tigers still finished as the reserve champions. Clemson’s team was made of seniors Samantha Hay and Anna Fogerty, junior Sarah Pyne and sophomore Alex Peterson.

Auburn University finished in third on a combined score of 105.27. Team members Andrea Glazer, Sallie Johnson and Kayley Bush competed in the training division and Lydia Kennedy rode in the novice division.

In addition to walking away with top honors and as many prizes as they could hold thanks to the Intercollegiate Program’s generous sponsors, the University of Georgia girls also claimed the coveted Spirit Award for showing the most school pride throughout the weekend. “We went all out,” said team president Emily Cox. “We wore all our matching gear and we did something special for cross-country — we covered our horses in paint.”

University of Georgia riders could be spotted across the hillside at the Virginia Horse Center with the famed “Georgia G” painted across the rump of each horse.

“Overall this team has so much spirit. We’re all there for each other, and we each had somebody waiting at the finish line for us on cross-country, and it was just great team spirit all together,” Cox elaborated. Team members earned refunded entries from the Virginia Horse Trials for their impressive show of school spirit.

This inaugural championship brought together students from across the East Coast for a weekend of great riding, school spirit and competition. Event organizer Andy Bowles was thrilled with the outcome of the weekend commenting, “I’ve officiated at young rider championships all around the world, and the camaraderie I saw here rivals those events.”

Many schools met here for the first time, sharing strategy and tips for the weekend and beyond. “It was cool to see the whole collegiate atmosphere and to compete with [the other teams]. It’s really fun to be able to stable with them, and all of the colleges talked through courses together. We all really wanted everyone to do well,”  Cox said.

Next year’s Intercollegiate Championship is slated to return to the Virginia Horse Trials next year, and all affiliated colleges and universities are asked to send teams. The weekend was made possible by the sponsors of the Intercollegiate Program, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), Ride Safe, Fleeceworks and the Virginia Horse Trials.

TEAMS:

CLEMSON TIGERS

  • Sarah Pyne / Call Me Commander – CCI*
  • Samantha Hay / Tre’ Jolie -Training
  • Anna Fogerty / Dunlavin Fox – Novice
  • Alex Peterson / Willie Wiggins – CCI*

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA RED

  • Devon Olivier / Karisma – Training
  • Emily Cardin / Schwalbestrum – Novice
  • Emily Cox / FR’s Check It Out Now – Training
  • Kaitlyn Ruff / Shadowfax – Training

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA BLACK

  • Katie Harivel / Counterpoint – Training
  • Johannah Crumpton / Tip Share – Novice
  • Erin Jarboe / Arsiero – Novice
  • Morgan Barnhardt / Come and Get It – Novice

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

  • Ellen Bouchard / Gibstar – Beginner Novice
  • Melissa Fox / Diamond Legacy – Training
  • Alex Reed / On Broadway – CCI*

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

  • Jordan Litter / Timekeeper – Novice
  • Jennifer Price / Timely Fashion – Training
  • Rachael Miller / Tough Enough – Novice
  • Claudia Romeo / Little Valkyrie – Training

AUBURN

  • Lydia Kennedy / Subtle Dream Unveiled – Novice
  • Andrea Glazer / Arctic Fernhill – Training
  • Sallie Johnson / One Moore Miracle – Training
  • Kaley Bush / Cooper – Training

BRIDGEWATER COLLEGE / AVERETT

  • Zach Hinch / Chamaco Loci – Novice
  • Michaela Bragg / Prado-Gee – Beginner Novice
  • Amelia Bayer / Road to Redemption – Prelim
  • Alex Argentieri / San Marco – Training

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY / TRANSYLVANIA

  • Michaela Yowaiski / Darla Doll (UK) – Intermediate
  • Renata Petraitis / Tappin’ to the Music (UK) – Training
  • Charlotte Pruet / Valadour (Transylvania) – Training
  • Abby Blackburn / Joy Girl (Transylvania) – Novice

BRIDGEWATER / CLEMSON

  • Amelia Bayer / Handsome Devil (Bridgewater) – Prelim
  • Sarah Pyne / Quinntisential (Clemson) – CCI*
  • Kaitlyn Bardos / The Myth of Arion (Clemson) – Training

COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY / UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

  • Melissa Fox / Command Approval – Training
  • Lily Barlow / Tullymor’s Houdini – Beginner Novice
  • Erin Chalmers / Light the Lights – Novice

To account for differences in level difficulty, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level, 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 dropped one score.

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