The inaugural Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Finals, presented by Sweet Briar College, was held in conjunction with the Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session Nov 16 - 18, with 28 competitors qualifying for Zone and Individual competition.
The Finalists each took a written exam, and the top four zone teams (comprised of three competitors) and the top four individuals with the highest scores advanced to the hands-on practicum of 30 minutes that included handling a horse and horse-related equipment in a mock trial ride scenario. USHJA Youth Committee member Lilli Biedermann judged the practicum and was assisted by Vice Chairman Elaine Schott.
“The scores in the Finals practicum were outstanding. This speaks volumes for the thirst for knowledge these young riders have for becoming all-around horsemen. Their enthusiasm demonstrates the importance of providing a deep knowledge of hands-on horsemanship for our students.” Mary Babick, Chairman of the USHJA Youth Committee.
In addition to testing their horsemanship knowledge, the Finalists attended educational seminars with USHJA Youth Committee members Amber Aslin, Brooke Mallin and Cricket Stone in addition to auditing the EAP Finals riding and stable management sessions.
The members of Zone 1 were the highest-scoring zone team with 19 year-old Hollis Toussaint of Wellesley, MA named the overall winner of the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Finals. Each member of the Zone 1 winning team received a gold medal, a helmet provided by Charles Owen Inc ., Joe Dotoli’s Wylde Ride book signed by the author, and a $1,000 grant provided by the USHJA Foundation  for approved training and educational opportunities.
Currently a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, with aspirations of becoming a surgeon one day, Hollis shared her experience at HQC Finals: “The written test was tough; I was actually worried after I took it that I didn’t do very well, so I was really surprised to hear I’d gotten the high score. Then I went on to the practicum – I had so much fun doing that. The whole program is so great, a wonderful learning experience. Things on the study guide are just things everyone should know; I was really surprised that I didn’t know as much about horses after riding for so long. I felt like I should have known certain things all along.”
Results of the 2012 Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Finals:
1st place Zone Team: Zone 1
Lindsey Bailey (also achieved the highest practicum score)
Hollis Toussaint (also achieved the highest written test score)
1st place overall: Hollis Toussaint of Zone 1
2nd place Zone Team: Zone 10
2nd place overall: Zoe Conlee of Zone 9
3rd place Zone Team: Zone 2
3rd place overall: Stephanie Whitworth, an individual finalist from Zone 10
Developed by the USHJA Youth Committee, the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge was established to educate and recognize young equestrians who have exceptional horsemanship knowledge. The goal of this program is to ignite each youth’s passion for advancing their horsemanship knowledge and make it an integral part of their equestrian life.
Complete coverage of the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge will be published in the January 2012 issue of USHJA In Stride. For more information about the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge, contact Carrie Vaught (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or call 859-225-6703.
About Sweet Briar College: Sweet Briar College is a nationally recognized all-women’s liberal arts and sciences college near Lynchburg, Va. Information is available at www.sbc.edu . For more information on the riding program, please visit http://www.sbc.edu/riding .