Athletes Selected for 10th Annual USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session

Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Fargis will lead the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session. Photo credit: Kim F. Miller/USHJA

Olympian Joe Fargis and Stable Manager Anne Thornbury to lead session at The University of Findlay

Findlay, Ohio—-September 7, 2018—–The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to announce the 16 athletes and eight stable managers selected to participate in the 10th annual Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session. Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Fargis and renowned stable management expert Anne Thornbury will lead the session, which marks 10 years of educating and advancing the horsemanship of young equestrians, Nov. 8-11, 2018, at The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio.

Since the program’s inception in 2009, the USHJA has reviewed more than 2,300 applications, provided more than 1,400 participants regional training session opportunities, and each year 16 athletes vie for the title of EAP Champion while training with an Olympian at the National Training Session. In 2018, 187 athletes participated in 10 Regional Training Sessions nationwide between the months of May and August. While only a small number advance to the National Training Session, each participant received invaluable education over the course of five days of mounted and unmounted instruction offered at Regional Training Sessions.

“It has been incredibly satisfying to see the impact this program has had on participants,” said Sally Ike, chair of the Emerging Athletes Program Committee. “EAP marries competition with education, connecting young equestrians to the industry’s best teachers, leading professionals and Olympians. Not only does it offer riding instruction at the highest level, but it places an importance on horsemanship and stable management.”

The USHJA congratulates the following athletes for being selected to participate in the 10th annual EAP National Training Session:

National Training Session Riders
Sam Berry, Argyle, Texas
Bella Canzano, Birmingham, Mich.
Maura Cherny, Cazenovia, N.Y.
Kit Cunningham, Thermal, Calif.
Cathleen Driscoll, Elk Mills, Md.
Bridget Finnerty, Baltimore, Md.
Cary Hundley, Ellicott City, Md.
Hope King, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Genevieve Munson, Rogers, Ark.
Leacy Paul, Milton, Fla.
Katie Pelzel, Fort Lupton, Colo.
Ada Rohan, Montpelier, Vt.
Elise Vandamme, Bountiful, Utah
Madeline Vorhies, Canton, Ga.
Alicia H. Weismann, Southampton, N.J.
Kiersti Wylie, Fallbrook, Calif.
Ranked Alternate Riders
1. Emily Williams, Newhall, Calif.
2. Rose Kauffman-Skloff, Los Angeles, Calif.
3. Ethan Maye, Fairfield, Va.
National Training Session Stable Managers
Lauren Alsborg, Travelers Rest, S.C.
Elle Brady, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Annie Drew, Austin, Texas
Michael Golinowski, Burke, Va.
Frances McGivern, Essex, Conn.
Christina Meeks, Lexington, Ky.
Leah Samouhos, Pittstown, N.J.
Devina Stone, Gardnerville, Nev.
Ranked Alternate Stable Managers
1. Selina Petronelli, Churchville, Md.
2. Johanna Jessen, Lake Charles, La.
3. Cory McLaughlin, Atlanta, Ga.
4. Ali Barros, Eads, Tenn.
EAP finalists are closely observed and evaluated during all phases of the four-day National Training Session, including flat work, gymnastics, related distances and course work, an intensive stable-management curriculum, and through a written test that gauges the horsemanship knowledge each finalist has gained throughout the year. One rider will be named the overall USHJA EAP National Champion and will receive a $3,000 grant to be applied toward the cost of advanced training, as well as a variety of additional products and gifts from USHJA sponsors.
Additionally, two EAP finalists will receive a coveted riding spot at a 1.10/1.15m USHJA Gold Star Clinic of their choice, and a select number of participants in the EAP National Training Session will be chosen to serve as stable managers during the Gold Star Clinics. 
Introduced last year, three USHJA Gold Star Clinics will be held this year on the East Coast at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, Dec. 26-30, 2018, on the West Coast at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, Calif., Jan. 16-20, 2019, and new this year, a centrally located Gold Star Clinic at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio, April 16-20, 2019. Part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program , these clinics offer horsemanship, stable management, mounted instruction and additional education from top clinicians and athletes. Sport leadership track these riders’ accomplishments as they advance through the sport and look for opportunities to support their efforts with education along the way.
The USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, presented by The Plaid Horse, will be held concurrently with the EAP National Training Session, at The University of Findlay’s James L. Child Jr. Equestrian Complex. Qualified finalists will be tested in three phases, including a written exam, horsemanship/identification exam, as well as a hands-on practicum exam. HQC Finalists will be announced soon.
In addition to the competition, both EAP and HQC finalists will participate in joint educational seminars. Topics covered will include an equine appraisal, equine massage, equine nutrition and an equine anatomy in motion demonstration.
Auditing of all mounted sessions of the EAP National Training Session is free and open to the public.
“These young athletes are our future professionals, and the EAP opens eyes and opens doors for them,” continued Ike. “As we head into this year’s National Training Session, I am eager to watch this group of talented young equestrians shine, and I am excited see what’s in store for them after.”
Past winners include Carly Anthony (2009), Richard Neal (2009), Kate Haley (2010), Jacob Pope (2011), Stephen Foran (2012), Sunny Drescher (2013), Carly Williams (2014), Danielle Roskens (2015), Gracie Marlowe (2016) and Kendra Duggleby (2017). EAP winners and alumni have gone on to compete and earn numerous championships and ribbons in some of the most prestigious classes in the country including USEF Talent Search, US Hunter Seat Medal Finals, ASPCA Maclay Finals, USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, and World Cup qualifying Grands Prix. 
The USHJA extends special thanks to title sponsor Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund and to host The University of Findlay. The Emerging Athletes Program and the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge are supported in part by a generous grant from US Equestrian, as well as individual donors through the USHJA Foundation.
For more information on the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, visit For more information on the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, visit