The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund / USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Continues to Serve the Equestrian Community

Clinician Julie Winkel with athletes at the EAP Regional Training Session at World Equestrian Center. Photo credit: Kristin Rover/USHJA Archives

The EAP’s Regional Training Sessions to Be Held Virtually This Year

Wellington, Fl. October 7, 2020 – The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund / USHJA Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) has gone completely virtual in 2020 to ensure the safety of participants and riders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program’s first virtual final course review was on Tuesday, August. 25, 2020, as the last part of the virtual horse show which began on July 12. 

The horse show was divided into mounted and unmounted assignments. Participants uploaded videos of the weeks’ assigned riding exercises and scheduled meeting time with three clinicians: Cynthia Hankins, Candice King, and Anne Kursinski. 

Cynthia Hankins was a junior equitation star, has a professional career traveling between the U.S. and France, and holds a USEF- R-rated judge’s license. Candice King has a twenty-year career in the American Grand Prix Association and competed internationally in FEI Show Jumping World Cups. Anne Kursinski is a five-time Olympian, two-time Olympic Silver Medalist, author, clinician, and international competitor. 

 “I think teaching virtually was useful and constructive for the riders. Going into it, Cynthia [Hankins], Candace [King] and I had to come up with good exercises that were challenging but not too, too difficult because we were not hands on. Watching the riders on video ride the exercises we gave them did work! Critiquing and talking to the riders, as well as hearing what was challenging for them or easier, was insightful. It was quite rewarding to see the riders try different techniques I offered them from session to session. They did make changes, improve and really try quite hard,” said Anne Kursinski

“The EAP program is a wonderful opportunity for less experienced or newer riders coming into our sport. I have heard from so many that have ridden in the program how it has taken them to another level in their riding and horsemanship. It is rewarding to see the students stretch themselves and improve their riding and communication with their horses. For me, teaching EAP is a way to give back to the horses and this sport that I love!” added Kursinski. 

During unmounted lessons, EAP stable managers conducted a series of stable management webinars for riders. The stable managers were: Colleen Reed, who has extensive experience grooming, managing, and traveling with international grand prix horses, Nanci Snyder, a skilled stable manager who has worked for industry stars such as Beezie Madden, Nelson Pessoa, and Peter Wylde and Ann Thornbury who operates Equisports, Inc. and the Midwest Equine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Center. 

In order to audit the mounted instruction, users had to set up an account on DigitalHorseShow.com. After setting up, riders would have access to Anne Kursinski’s clinic page. On DigitalHorseShow.com, viewers could access the meetings at the scheduled times using the Watch Live Stream button, or watch recordings of past calls using the Watch VOD button under each meeting group. 

The program has expanded to include riders ages 12 and older, including adults for the first time. The program also offered sections at .90m and 1.0m fence heights to allow more riders to participate. This year’s EAP Program enables riders of all ages to train with the industries’ most notable professionals without financial constraints that would otherwise inhibit their training. 

“Though the platform on which it was happening was different than in previous years, the EAP still facilitated an immersive, educational, and encouraging atmosphere. At every webinar or meeting I attended, I learned something new, and was able to learn both from the clinicians and from fellow riders. I learned how to communicate more clearly with my horse, how to help my horse and I work more cohesively as a team, and the true importance of proper stable management,” said Caitlin Vella first time EAP participant from Hightstown, N.J.

“I would strongly recommend the EAP to other riders I know. The program is affordable, highly educational, and an unforgettable experience for every rider who is able to participate,” said Vella.

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund (LMCF), along with the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) ensured that EAP would continue this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. LMCF is the presenting sponsor for the EAP Program. The LMCF has been involved in EAP since 2009 and ensures that athletes with financial limitations can participate in the EAP Program by covering costs associated with the horse show. In addition, the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund / USHJA EAP National Training Session Champion will be awarded a $3,000 training grant by the LMCF. 

“Now more than ever, we must adjust to keep ourselves and our horses safe and healthy,” said Lindsay Maxwell of The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. “Our incredible program partners at USHJA found a creative solution for this year’s EAP that not only offered an accessible and viable solution, but also maintained the high quality of instruction we have all come to know as part of this amazing educational program for young and amateur riders.”

The final course review session took place on Tuesday, August 25 at 12:00 p.m. EST and is available live at digitalhorseshow.com

About Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund / USHJA Emerging Athletes Program: 

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund / USHJA Emerging Athletes program was created to provide opportunities for young riders to advance their horsemanship education and riding skills. EAP athletes have gone on to earn numerous championships and titles in the Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation show rings.