National Training Session
Sunny Drescher Shines at USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session
Findlay, OH - November 18 - After four days of riding instruction, stable management, a written test and the Nations Cup competition, Sunny Drescher stood out among her peers and earned top honors in the USHJA Emerging Athletes National Training Session, presented by Dover Saddlery, November 14-17.
"Sunny's the whole package. She's another kid whom we admire in all aspects of her horsemanship," said show jumping Olympic gold medalist and lead clinician Peter Wylde. "She's an exceptionally good rider, and she's exceptionally good in the stable, that's clear. She's astute, she's on the ball, she's sharp and she knows what she's doing." [Read More...]
Auditors: Auditors are welcome to attend EAP Nationals. In lieu of an auditing fee please make a donation to the Emerging
Athletes Program through the USHJA Foundation website
(please select to restrict your donation to the Emerging Athletes Program) or onsite during the EAP Nationals in November. Suggested donation: $50.
The Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Finals
are held in conjunction with the EAP
National Training Session. The zone teams and individuals participating in the
HQC Finals have passed the Level
One quiz and achieved the highest national
Level Two quiz scores. The finalists will take part in a written exam and
hands-on practicum in addition to auditing the EAP sessions. The highest-scoring
zone team and individual are chosen as the overall HQC
winners and are awarded a Charles Owen helmet and a $1,000
grant for education and training.
Journey to EAP Nationals
Throughout the Emerging Athletes Program journey, the original group of 200 plus riders narrows to a select 16.
Riders invited to participate in the USHJA
EAP National Training Session are given the opportunity to train with several
of the country’s top clinicians during this intensive
three-and-a-half day training session. Throughout the three-and-a-half days,
each finalist has the unique opportunity to ride and care for a
horse provided by the host facility and assigned to them by the EAP representatives. Each rider starts on a fair and level playing field and
must utilize all the skills they have honed throughout the entire EAP process to bond quickly with their equine partner.
Photo from Left-Right:
Anne Thornbury, Kip Rosenthal, Peter Wylde, Mary Babick, Sally Ike, Sunny Drescher, Sean Leckie
The small group size allows the riders to work very closely with the clinicians during the riding and
sessions throughout the several days. Finalists are again closely observed and evaluated during all phases
of the National Training
Session and are expected to be active participants in all activities. The riding sessions address flatwork
and jumping, while stable-management sessions are hands-on, in-depth and extensive. Barn chores are
monitored, and a written test gauges the knowledge each finalist
has gained throughout the year. Additional clinics, such as veterinary seminars, trimming and shoeing,
saddle fitting, and feeding regimens may be offered, as well.
Riders and guests spend one final fun-filled evening together, complete with dinner and a Calcutta for the next, and final day's,
Nations Cup-style competition. A two-round Nations Cup-style competition involving four teams of four riders each will complete the
competition. This team format offers the riders an opportunity to showcase their riding skills as well as their ability to perform under
pressure. An awards ceremony follows the competition, where one rider is named the overall USHJA EAP National Champion and is awarded a $3,000
grant to be applied toward the cost of advanced training with an approved trainer. Closing remarks from the clinicians bring each EAP year to
an end, but for many of the riders, their participation in the EAP has brought them to the start of a new level of understanding and
commitment to the hunter/jumper sport.
These young riders may run into each other at horse shows during the year, or this may be the
only time they meet, but the camaraderie shared throughout the EAP process is an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.