USHJA announces record year for 30-day 2015 USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge More than 1,200 quizzes, 12 winners and loads of fun in the Stable Challenge presented by The Plaid Horse

By Louise Bowden for USHJA

Lexington, KY—– July 28, 2015—– After 30 days of studying and quiz taking by USHJA members across the country, the 2015 USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge, presented by The Plaid Horse, concluded with record participation numbers. More than 1,200 quizzes were taken on behalf of more than 320 trainers across every zone, marking a 300 percent increase over participation in 2014.

“We are ecstatic about the participation this year in the Stable Challenge,” said Cricket Stone, chair of the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Ad Hoc Committee. “It’s beyond what we could have hoped for, and it means that equestrians across the country are embracing the importance of horsemanship, which is what the quiz is all about.”


From June 15 to July 15, the 30-day HQC Stable Challenge was open to Juniors and Amateurs, bringing barns together to put their horsemanship knowledge to the ultimate test for a chance to win great prizes. At least three students per trainer had to complete the online HQC practice quiz for their barn to be eligible to win. At the end of the 30-day challenge, the three top scores under each trainer were averaged to provide an overall score, and the highest scoring trainer per zone wins a unique trainer-inspired award package with gifts from USHJA, Charles Owen, Inc., Equestriancoach.comPerfect Products,  Professional’s Choice,  Rood & RiddleShapley’sStandlee Hay Company and The Plaid Horse.


The unique trainer-inspired award package includes gifts from Charles Owen,, Perfect Products, Professional’s Choice, Rood & Riddle, Shapley’s, Standlee, The Plaid Horse, and a variety of USHJA gear including a backpack, polo wraps, hoof pick and hard brush. 

Participants, who met the age requirements and took the Level One and Level Two HQC quizzes, received 10 bonus points for each level they completed. Those points were then added to their individual scores. During the 30-day Stable Challenge, more than 70 members completed the Level One HQC quiz and almost 20 completed the Level Two quiz.

All of the winning trainers had an average score of 100 or better (with bonus points), meaning their top students produced perfect scores and in many cases took the Level One and Level Two quizzes. USHJA is pleased to announce the winning trainers by zone:

Zone 1 Alicia Bessoni Glastonbury Hunt Club
Zone 2 Ann Mitchell Smoke Rise Farm
Zone 3 Jennifer Fessler Steep Forest Farm
Zone 4 Courtney Boyd Court Lin Frae Stables
Zone 5 Anne Thornburry Equisports
Zone 6 Amy Bender Hampton Ridge Equestrian Center
Zone 7 Julie Gass Cadence
Zone 8 Jill Pelzel Fall River Farm
Zone 9 Rachel Marcotte Triple Rise Equestrian Center
Zone 10 Elizabeth Evans Mischief Farm
Zone 11 Amy Quinlan Dillingham Ranch
Zone 12 Beth Theisen Two Rivers Ranch

Winning trainer Beth Thiesen in Palmer, AK, was excited about how her students embraced the challenge. “I have a wonderful group of students who had such fun reading the study guide and learning about horsemanship!” exclaimed Thiesen. “The study guide is so well presented, with pictures and drawings that make it more understandable. It is such a great program to get the students talking to one another about all sorts of horse care related issues.”

While the Stable Challenge has ended, the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge remains open until September 1, 2015. USHJA members, under the age of 21 (per USEF rules), can compete for a chance at HQC Nationals, which takes place in conjunction with the Emerging Athletes Program Nationals in November 2015. HQC Nationals consists of a written exam, a horsemastership/identification exam, and a final practicum that requires participants to demonstrate their mastery of practical horsemanship knowledge. Team and individual winners each receive a $1,000 grant for training and education from the USHJA Foundation, a Charles Owen helmet and a gold medal.

The Horsemanship Quiz Challenge is supported in part by a generous grant from the United States Equestrian Federation.