USEA Area 1 and the University of New Hampshire co-hosted the Spring Start Box Young Rider Symposium on March 25, 2023 at the university’s Cole building. While the university does not have an eventing team, it is the only college in Area 1 to offer a USEA Recognized Horse Trial.
Panelists were divided into two groups focusing on the college riding team experience, and professionals in the equine industry. Participants were put in the driver’s seat throughout the seminar being able to lead discussions and ask panelists questions. Each panelist offered a unique perspective on their experiences riding and competing throughout college as well as their journey to arrive at their current equine profession. Following the discussions participants were treated to lunch before a live demonstration in the university’s barn.
Prospective students were introduced to Haley Scofield UNH IDA Coach, Riding Instructor & UNH Alum, Grace Houghton UNH IDA Rider & Eventer, Bailey Prasad UNH IHSA Team Captain & Senior at UNH, Liz Johnson UNH Equine Program Senior Lecturer, Ellie Teasley University of Kentucky Intercollegiate Eventing Team. The panel gave insight to similarities and differences regarding the structure, necessary time commitment, competition and cost involved with different team riding programs at the University of New Hampshire and the University of Kentucky.
Those interested in pursuing equine professions had the opportunity to learn how, Lauren Mair FEI Groom, Ariel Grald International 5* Event Rider & Former Area 1 YR, Dr. Rachel Roemer Equine Veterinarian, and Dr. Katie Larson Equine Veterinarian, each became successful despite embarking on journeys respectively unique to each individual. Through listening to the dialog of the professionals’ participants should realize it’s OK to explore a plethora of avenues to achieve their aspirations whether from the ground or in the saddle.
Overall, the Spring Start Box Young Rider Symposium offered valuable insight and information. Future college students gained knowledge of what to expect and be prepared to invest when riding on a college team. Those seeking to find their way in the equine industry were exposed to diverse perspectives and routes to reach success, showing that there is far from one straight and narrow path to arrive at one’s chosen destination.
Title: Spring Startbox Symposium
Written By: Chrissy Capacchione
Date: March 30, 2023