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September 26, 2013

A World of Riders: Bringing Student Rider Nations Cups Back to the United States

It happens every four years; the torch is lit, the rings are raised, and the games begin. It is a dream of almost every athlete to represent his or her nation in a world competition and it is an experience and honor that can never be forgotten. Though not yet an Olympian myself (still keeping my fingers crossed), I have been lucky enough to represent the United States of America three times at Student Rider Nations Cup (SNRC) competitions. They were all three amazing events I will never forget.

In my final year at Virginia Intermont College, I filled a last minute need for a third American on the riding team for a competition in Romania. I packed my bags, met my teammates in the airport, and flew over the Atlantic to Transylvania. Upon landing, we shuttled with the German team to the show grounds where we were enthusiastically welcomed by student riders from Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Romania, and more. Such was the beginning of many friendships I still maintain today. The next three days were a whirlwind of dressage, show jumping, city touring, rural Transylvania pond swimming, and the whole weekend culminated with me standing on a podium and receiving a bronze award in the name of my nation. The experience was incredible. I have participated twice again since in Spain and in Germany. Now, I would like to bring this special event back to America.

The organization through which SNRC’s are managed is the Association Internationale de Estudiant Cavaliers (AIEC). It is a non-profit organization focused on providing student riders the opportunity to experience international competition, to encourage multi-cultural interaction and camaraderie, and to do all of this at a minimum expense to the student competitor. The American Student Rider Organization (ASRO) is the non-profit American branch that organizes all participation from the United States. We have now proudly sent riders to Germany, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Romania, Italy, even South Korea, but it has been ten years since we hosted our European and Asian friends. With a little help, that could soon change.

Thanks to the very generous support of Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, the ASRO now has a facility to offer to host the AIEC 2014 World Finals in Wellington, FL. Already an international winter destination, Wellington is an exciting location to offer to our student riders. We want to present and promote American equine competition and production and hope to draw large numbers of spectators and public participation. But we cannot produce such an event without additional help from our equine community.

At this time, the ASRO is looking to raise approximately $45,000, which will provide all our participants, competitors, and organizers with necessary food and accommodations as well as cover the expenses of FEI approved judges, awards, programs, and evening events. More information for possible supporters or future competitors can be found on our websites or feel free to contact me directly at the addresses listed below. Any and all participation is greatly appreciated and all donations are tax deductible. Hosting an event like this directly affects the lives of countless students from nations across the world. Please consider joining us and becoming a part of this next great experience.

Kate McManis
American Student Rider Organization
Secretary and Competitor
ASRO website:
AIEC website:
AIEC statues: