California Riding Magazine • June, 2013

The Gallop: School's Not Over
USHJA's Emerging Athletes Program stages two California clinics this summer.

School is out or almost out, but studying and learning have only just begun for the talented and hard working young hunter/jumper riders who will soon be named to participate in the Emerging Athletes Program's regional clinics this summer. Sponsored by the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association and increasing significantly in popularity every year since its 2009 debut, the EAP has a mission of furthering the education of its participants, not only as riders, but as complete horsemen.

Two of the national program's 10 regional clinics will be held in California this summer. During the extensive four-day clinics, 24 selected riders work with top riding clinicians and some of the country's leading stable managers. Riders and horses participating in Regional Clinics will be instructed on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, as well as an intensive stable-management curriculum that will incorporate proper care and grooming, horsemanship skills and barn management. Riders will also complete a written test as part of their evaluation for the National Training Session.

Hope and Ned Glynn's Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma hosts the first California EAP clinic July 15-18. Show jumper Candace King, a California native, will serve as the riding coach and Anne Thornbury as the stable manager.

Joe Fargis, 1984 Olympic gold medalist, is the clinician for the second California clinic, staged at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank August 1-4. Anne Thornbury is again the stable manager for this session.

Rider participation is limited to those selected, of course, but there is a ton to be learned by auditing. Hope Glynn is the contact for auditing in Petaluma and George Chatigny is the host and auditing contact in Burbank.

Clinics in our region also include June 25-28 at the Colorado Horse Park, where Cynthia Hankins is the clinician and Nanci Snyder is the stable manager; and Whip 'N Spur Farm in Wilsonville, OR, on June 27-30. Kip Rosenthal is the clinician in Oregon, Anne Thornbury is the stable manager and facility owner Beka Swan is the host and local contact.

The season concludes when a select group of 16 riders are invited to the National Training Session. Selection is based on the riding and stable-management skills, written test results and potential shown during the Regional Clinics. This year's National Clinic takes place at the University of Findlay in Findlay, OH, where Olympian Peter Wylde serves as the lead clinician and Karen Golding is the stable manager.

All hopefuls are required to go through an application process, during which they demonstrate their experience and involvement in the hunter/jumper industry, including show-ring and employment history, as well as future goals. Recommendations, outside interests and scholastic achievements are also considered.

The deadline to apply for this summer's clinics has passed and applicants will be notified of their acceptance approximately one month before the clinic to which they applied. However, it's never too late to start readying a resume for next summer's sessions. The first step is getting at least an 80 score on the USHJA's Horsemanship Quiz Challenge. Next, three letters of recommendation are required. One must be from the applicant's current trainer or a trainer familiar with their riding abilities and experience. The other two recommendations need to be from adults in the hunter/jumper industry who can speak to the student's riding and horsemanship abilities.

Top trainer Karen Healey was an architect of the Emerging Athletes Program and she continues to be a huge supporter. Based at Whitethorne Ranch in Somis, Karen will be giving an EAP clinic in Virginia this summer and the program's goal is near and dear to her heart: "Identifying and nurturing talented young riders and providing them with support and assistance in achieving their full potential."
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