Top riders from across the United States will participate in an educational and competitive program at the James L. Child, Jr. Equestrian Complex, Nov. 14-17. The three-and-a-half day event marks the national finals for the United States Hunter-Jumper Association’s (USHJA) Emerging Athletes Program (EAP). Selected from an original group of 240 riders in regional competitions, just 16 have been invited to participate in the national EAP.
According to the USHJA, throughout the nationals, each finalist has the opportunity to ride and care for a horse provided by The University of Findlay and assigned to them by 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.
The small group size allows the riders to work very closely with clinicians during the riding and stable management sessions. A written test will gauge the knowledge that each finalist has gained throughout the year and additional clinics, such as veterinary seminars and feeding regimens may be offered as well.
According to Jill Paxton, director of equestrian programs at The University of Findlay, members of the public are welcome to attend the sessions. In lieu of an auditing fee, donations to the Emerging Athletes Program through the USHJA website are encouraged.
Located at 11178 Township Hwy. 201 in south Findlay, the 32-acre James L. Child, Jr. Equestrian Complex is an ideal setting for the Emerging Athletes National Training Session. The complex has two indoor arenas, a large classroom, a heated viewing lounge overlooking the large arena, and numerous amenities for both riders and horses. The University offers bachelor’s degrees in both English and western equestrian studies, equine business management and an associate’s degree in western equestrian studies.
“We can also provide upper level horses to riders,” added Paxton. “We have a reputation for high quality horses in addition to our beautiful facilities.”
For more information about the national finals at The University of Findlay, contact Matt McHugh at 419-434-4859. For information about the program itself, visit www.ushja.org.
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