USHJA Announces 2022 HQC Stable Challenge Winners

Aug 25, 2022 - 11:08 AM

More than 240 equestrians representing 83 stables in 12 USHJA Zones put their horsemanship knowledge to the test this year to complete the 30-day USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge.

The following trainers and their barns earned the highest scores in each zone and will be receiving prize packages for their barns:

Zone 2: Jolene Hasseler, Sweet Release Equestrian Center (Bergen, New York)
Zone 3: Jessica Boppe, Haverhill Farm (Ashland, Virginia)
Zone 4: Jennifer Pigue, Flying P Ranch (Franklin, Tennessee)
Zone 5: Trena Kerr, Findaway Farm (Burlington, Kentucky)
Zone 7: Cory Valenzuela, Victory Stables (Martindale, Texas)
Zone 8: Jill Pelzel, Fall River Farm (Ft. Lupton, Colorado)
Zone 9: Makenzie Harvey, Timberline Farm (Bonanza, Oregon)
Zone 10: Kay Altheuser, Elvenstar Farm (Moorpark, California)
Zone 11: Amy Quinlan, Dillingham Ranch (Oahu, Hawaii)

Of the winning teams, four were led by a USHJA Certified Trainer and four were representing USHJA Recognized Riding Academies. This year, Zone 4 had the most participation with 12 teams, and the overall high score winning team’s trainer was Pelzel of Fall River Farm in Zone 8. For her barn’s efforts, Pelzel received an Essex Classics show shirt.

“We participated in the Stable Challenge because I feel like horsemanship is falling more and more by the wayside. It is so important for riders of all ages to be able to care for these creatures that give us so much,” Pelzel said. “Learning about horsemanship is fun. It is also more educational when a group gets together to ask and answer questions.”

To prepare for the challenge, Pelzel organized a horsemanship day at Fall River Farm with stations to learn different material included in the free USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Study Guide.

“Using the USHJA Study Guide, we picked topics to cover,” she said. “We covered tons of material, including course walking, grooming, emergency care, etc. It was a fun day and very educational. My farm also includes horse trivia in our lesson program and IEA program on a daily basis.

“I am very proud of all of the riders in my barn that participated. Hopefully even more will get involved next year. I appreciate the emphasis USHJA has placed on stable skills; the future is bright if we can take great care of our horses,” Pelzel continued.

The Stable Challenge was designed to engage a trainer’s entire barn as a team. At least three students per trainer had to complete the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Practice Quiz between July 1 and Aug. 1, to be eligible for prizes. At the end of the 30-day challenge, the three top scores under each trainer were averaged to provide an overall score. Participants who also took the Level One and Level Two HQC quizzes received 10 bonus points for each level they complete.

Zone 3 winner, Boppe of Haverhill Farm, said, “I like to encourage education about horses and barn management, so I felt this activity was a good thing for our riders to participate in to test their knowledge.”

The highest scoring trainer in each USHJA Zone won a unique trainer-inspired award package designed to benefit the entire barn, which included a Nutrena gift certificate, grooming items from Exhibitor’s, a one-year USHJA membership, three one-year, non-competing USHJA memberships for team participants, and a 2023 Recognized Riding Academy membership.

The Stable Challenge was originally created to promote the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Program and get members excited about advancing their horsemanship knowledge at all ages. USHJA members can still participate in the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge and compete for a chance to go to HQC Nationals until Sept. 1. The Horsemanship Quiz Challenge is supported in part by grants from the U.S. Equestrian Federation and the USHJA Foundation.

“The horsemanship quiz is a good test for them without being stressful,” said Hasseler, a USHJA Certified Trainer and the winner of Zone 2. “I’m also a firm believer in understanding that this is a lifelong sport, and you’ll never know everything there is to know, so keep learning every day!”

For more information about the Stable Challenge, visit ushja.org/stablechallenge. For more information about the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge, visit ushja.org/HQC.

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