2020 USHJA Gold Star Clinic Participants Announced

Forty-Three Athletes to Ride with Top Level Clinicians

Lexington, Kentucky—Jan. 7, 2020—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is excited to announce the participants for the 2020 Gold Star Clinics. The Gold Star Clinics are the pinnacle of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which identifies Jumper riders who have the skill and desire to excel in the sport, while educating riders to become well-rounded horsemen on their path to excellence.

The West Coast Clinic will be held January 15-19, 2020 at the Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, California, and led by Kirsten Coe. The East Coast Clinic, led by Todd Minikus, is scheduled for January 22-26, 2020 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Both clinics will feature Colleen Reed as the stable manager clinician.

West Coast Clinic Participants

  • Emmeline Adamick, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Alyce Bittar, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Elisa Broz, Watsonville, Calif.
  • Betsy Checchia, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Hannah Cowdrey, Camarillo, Calif.
  • Grace Gallagher, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Amanda Gomez, Norco, Calif.
  • Lily Hackbarth, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Riley Heath, Lake Oswego, Ore.
  • Leah Lively, Tualatin, Ore.
  • Kayla Long, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho
  • Rachel Long, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho
  • Kiley McCullough, San Tan Valley, Ariz.
  • Alexis Mierzwa, Winchester, Va.
  • Hanna Morris, Issaquah, Wash.
  • Erin Nichols, Yorba Linda, Calif.
  • Lauren Pleasance, Bend, Ore.
  • Sydney Shelby, Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Carly Sweeney, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Skyler Wireman, Bonsall, Calif.
  • Courtney Youell, Snohomish, Wash.

East Coast Clinic Participants

  • Emily Dehoff, Far Hills, N.J.
  • Julianna Empie, Chester Springs, Pa.
  • Christopher Ferralez, Elgin, Ill.
  • Kailey Fuchs, Sinking Spring, Pa.
  • Christina Gaither Webb, Bahama, N.C.
  • Samantha Hill, Lexington, Ky.
  • Summer Hill, Lexington, Ky.
  • Olivia Holtz, Villanova, Pa.
  • Madison Jones, Longwood, Fla.
  • Faith Lee Kollien, Acton, Mass.
  • Avery Moore, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Eileen O’Leary, Montverde, Fla.
  • Alexis Ortiz, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
  • Adeline Pavlin, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Natalie Pedley, Wellington, Fla.
  • Katherine Pugliese, Malvern, Pa.
  • Emily Schneider, Ridge Spring, S.C.
  • Emma Scott, Conroe, Texas
  • Michelle Stacy, Ipswich, Mass.
  • Jacqueline Van Meter, Ridgefield, Conn.
  • Kendra Walmer, Reinholds, Pa.
  • Ansley Wright, Manalapan, Fla.

Each clinic will include mounted instruction with some of the industry’s top clinicians. A member of the 2007 Pan American Games bronze medal team, Minikus has a plethora of wins under his belt, including the $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties, Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier at Live Oak International and Winter Equestrian Festival Challenge Cup. Coe has represented the U.S. in events such as the 2011, 2012 and 2015 FEI World Cup Jumping Finals and on many CSIO Nations Cup Teams, in addition to actively competing at the Grand Prix level with past experience as a top hunter and equitation rider. In her years in the industry, Reed has worked as a groom and manager for top show hunters, Grand Prix mounts, and equitation veterans at Beacon Hill Show Stables, Fairfield County Hunt Club, and for Leslie Burr. Each clinicians’ experiences in the industry will bring valuable knowledge to clinic participants.

Each clinic will also offer four days of additional education from top athletes and horsemen. This includes horse health and nutrition discussions; education about what to expect as a member of a competitive Jumping team, and information about international Jumping competition. Each clinic’s mounted instruction will conclude with a competitive team format.

Additionally, the clinics will be featured on Horse & Country TV through livestream provider EQSportsNet. The West Coast Clinic will be available on demand, and the East Coast Clinic will be streamed live. Current subscribers to EQSportsNet will be able to use their same login credentials to receive access through Horse & Country TV. New subscribers can join for just $10 to watch all live and on-demand coverage from both events.

Individual medalists from the 2019 USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships received the designation of Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders, regardless of age, and were invited, along with their coaches and parents, to attend one of these clinics. The top two riders from the 2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session were also invited to attend the Gold Star Clinic of their choice. A select number of Wild Card participants were also admitted to the Clinics.

To learn more about the Emerging Jumper Rider Program, visit   ushja.org/emergingjumper.

Photo: Kaitlyn Karssen/USHJA