Participants Selected for 2023 MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session

Photo: Cady Voyer Creative

Edited Press Release

Lexington, Ky.—Sept. 6, 2023—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to announce the 16 athletes and four stable managers selected to participate in the 13th annual MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session. This year’s session will be held at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, November 9-12, and led by Olympic show jumper Peter Wylde and stable management expert Colleen Reed.

In 2023, 186 athletes participated in 10 Regional Training Sessions held nationwide, receiving invaluable education over the course of five days of mounted and unmounted instruction. Based on the recommendations of the riding and stable management clinicians, 16 athletes and a select number of stable managers are selected to attend the National Training Session each year.

Riders at the National Training Session will vie for the title of Champion and a $3,000 grant to be applied toward the cost of advanced training based on their performance in the riding and stable management sessions throughout the week. Congratulations to the following athletes and stable managers on being selected to participate in this year’s National Training Session:

AthletesStable Managers
Tyler Anderson of Novi, MichiganHailey Bergstrom of Camas, Washington
Izzy Cook of Benton, ArkansasKelly Conway of Marietta, Georgia
Sianna Gable of Ontario, OregonMegan Gilmour of Cato, New York
Karston Gundry of Newburgh, IndianaFinley Scheffel of Georgetown, Kentucky
Rowan Love of Sweet Briar, Virginia
Taryn McEntire of Oceanside, California
Lucy Metzler of Boulder, Colorado
Sarah Miller of Sweet Briar, Virginia
Elle Mullendore of Tulsa, Oklahoma
Lillian Muzzy of Coto De Caza, California
Jocelyn Nelson of Ocala, Florida
Lauren Satola of Fulton, Maryland
Alyssa Stevens of Wampum, Pennsylvania
Emily Grace Swinson of Pinehurst, North Carolina
Casey Van Nostrand of Schenectady, New York
Cooper Zaruby of Longmont, Colorado

EAP athletes will be 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. In addition to the competition, finalists will participate in joint educational seminars with USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, which is held concurrently.

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 USHJA Gold Star Clinic of their choice. Part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, these clinics offer horsemanship, stable management, mounted instruction and additional education from top clinicians and athletes.

The Charles “Chuck” Keller Grant for Equestrian Excellence will also be awarded to one EAP National Training Session participant for the purpose of furthering their equestrian training in pursuit of equestrian excellence. The USHJA EAP Committee will select the recipient of this $500 grant, made possible by an anonymous donation, based on the care and handling of horses, treatment of horses while mounted and level of personal interaction with clinicians, peers and spectators.

The USHJA extends special thanks to Title Sponsor MZ Farms for their continued support; Official Sponsors CWD, Nutrena and Parlanti; Educational Supporting Sponsor SmartPak; and Awards Sponsors Boy-O-Boy Bridleworksand Essex Classics. The Emerging Athletes Program is supported in part through US Equestrian and the USHJA Foundation.

For more information on the MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, visit ushja.org/EAP.

About the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association

The United States Hunter Jumper Association, as the official Hunter/Jumper affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, is a competition-based sport organization that serves our members through educational programs, awards and recognition, communication, and rules. We provide a wide array of programs for all Hunter/Jumper levels, and we are mindful of the well-being of our equine partners. Additionally, we are committed to preserving the history of our sport, and through our Foundation, we support charitable and benevolent services. Learn more at ushja.org.