Winners Announced for the 2020 USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge

First Field Farm riders Cindy Flavin, her daughter Fiona, Peggy Kline, and Sherri Harbison helped lead the barn to victory in the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge. Photo provided.

Lexington, Ky.—Jul. 31, 2020—Members in all 12 USHJA Zones put their horsemanship knowledge to the test during the 30-day USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge, and the 12 top-scoring trainers will be receiving prize packages for their barns. 

The USHJA congratulates the following trainers and their barns who earned the highest scores in each zone: 

Zone 1: Mary Drueding, Seery Hill
Zone 2: Jolene Hasseler, Sweet Release Equestrian Center (Recognized Riding Academy and Certified Trainer)
Zone 3: Matt Payne, St. Timothy’s School
Zone 4: Amy Center, Cavallo Farms (Recognized Riding Academy and Certified Trainer)
Zone 5: Nori Scheffel, Scheffelridge Farm
Zone 6: Amy Bender, Bender Horse Sport
Zone 7: Sarah Trepagnier, Arcadia Hills Equestrian
Zone 8: Kristin Jacob, Blue Star Farms, LLC (Certified Trainer)
Zone 9: Denise Youell, Farpoint Farm (Certified Trainer)
Zone 10: Carolyn Biava, First Field Farm (Recognized Riding Academy)
Zone 11: Michelle Mizutani, Koko Crater Stables
Zone 12: Sadie Kurtz, Oldonyo Equestrian

The Stable Challenge is a great way for trainers, adult amateurs and juniors in a barn to bond together. “One of my students is a professor and her horse is laid up, so this gave her something fun to do that combined her love of horses with her love of academia,” said Carolyn Biava of First Field Farm in Zone 10. “I’m hoping next year we’ll be able to get even more people involved, and we’ve already had several riders express interest in participating in 2021. Hopefully, by then, we’ll be able to study together in a group setting, which we obviously could not do this year.”

The horsemanship-based competition came at a perfect time this year, with USEF suspending horse shows for a long period of time due to COVID-19. This competitive atmosphere, conducive to social distancing and safety protocols, sparked the competition-hungry USHJA members in a unique way. “After we were announced as being in the lead, a short while later one of our rival barns was announced as being in the lead, so we doubled down on our efforts and really worked hard. We were so excited that we ended up in the lead at the end,” said Biava.

This year during the Stable Challenge, the HQC Practice Quiz was taken more than 1,475 times by 555 individuals. A total of 274 trainers had students participate in the challenge, with half being juniors and half being amateurs. All 12 USHJA zones were represented in the 30-day challenge.

Lisa Munro, an adult amateur at Blue Star Farms in Zone 8 said, “We got involved with the Stable Challenge because we love and appreciate the programs that USHJA puts together but also because the resources are there at hand and free for members to participate in. We love that USHJA rewards barns around the nation for building education programs and being more than just a competitive barn.”

Kristin Jacob of Blue Star Farms always goes the extra mile in the Stable Challenge by creating a summer camp around the curriculum. “This year the camp involved guest speakers from all over the industry. USHJA, vets, chiropractors, nutritionists, riding theory specialists, etc.,” said Munro. “In addition to guest speakers, we dissected legs, painted anatomy on the horses, built jumps and courses, rode courses on foot, trailered Grand Prix horses in to learn more about riding theory, Zoomed with USHJA [staff], and had a ton of hands-on learning.”

Kristin Jacob with her students at Blue Star Farms, LLC, winners of Zone 8 in the Stable Challenge. Photo provided.

The Stable Challenge was designed to engage a trainer’s entire barn as a team. At least three students per trainer had to complete the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Practice Quiz between June 15 and July 15 this year to be eligible for prizes.At the end of the 30-day challenge, the three top scores under each trainer were averaged to provide an overall score. Participants who also took the Level One and Level Two HQC quizzes received 10 bonus points for each level they complete.

Each of the highest scoring trainers per USHJA zone wins a unique trainer-inspired award package designed to benefit the entire barn, which includes gifts from Rood and Riddle, a show shirt from Essex Classics, grooming supplies from Shapley’s, a $100 FITS Breeches gift certificate and a USHJA Swag Bag.

Jolene Hasseler of Zone 2 sayis, “My advice to anyone that wants to take on the challenge next year: study! It’s helpful knowledge for all students, and it’s important for your horses’ safety and well being, as well as your own. The study guide is a valuable resource. Get your students motivated to be true horsemen, not just riders!”

The Stable Challenge was originally created to promote the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Program and get members excited about advancing their horsemanship knowledge at all ages. USHJA members can still participate in the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge and compete for a chance to go to HQC Nationals until September 1.

For more information about the Stable Challenge, visit For more information about the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge, visit

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