Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023

USHJA Selects Athletes For 11th Annual EAP



The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association announced the 16 athletes and four stable managers selected to participate in the 11th annual Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session at The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio.

Olympic showjumper Peter Wylde returns this year alongside stable management expert Anne Thornbury to lead the session Nov. 7-10.

The USHJA congratulates the following athletes for being selected to participate in the 11th annual EAP National Training Session:

National Training Session Riders:

  • Celia Cram
  • Sea Sea Dance
  • Juliana Empie
  • Avery Glynn
  • Claire Huskey
  • Joelle Hylton
  • Rose Kauffman-Skloff
  • Rebecca Morris
  • Katie Pelzel
  • Chiara Perni
  • Samantha Reynoso
  • Alyssa Simin
  • Evelyn Smith
  • Madeline Vorhies
  • Alicia Weismann
  • Skylar Wireman

Ranked Alternate Riders:

  • Elle Brady
  • Christina Samouhous
  • Jonathan Porteous
  • Addison Diaz

National Training Session Stable Managers:


  • Elle Brady
  • Selina Petronelli
  • Mara Picciochi
  • Jonathan Porteous

Ranked Alternate Stable Managers:

  • Christina Samouhous
  • Rachel Vandemark
  • Alexandria Willard
  • Tess von Hemel

Since the program’s inception in 2009, the USHJA has reviewed more than 2,700 applications, provided more than 1,600 participants regional training session opportunities, and each year 16 athletes vie for the title of EAP Champion while training with an Olympian at the National Training Session.

In 2019, 194 athletes participated in 10 Regional Training Sessions nationwide. While only a small number advance to the National Training Session, each participant received invaluable education over the course of five days of mounted and unmounted instruction offered at Regional Training Sessions.

EAP finalists are closely observed and evaluated during all phases of the four-day National Training Session, including flatwork, 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.

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 1.10/1.15m USHJA Gold Star Clinic of their choice, and a select number of participants in the EAP National Training Session will be chosen to serve as stable managers during the Gold Star Clinics.


Three USHJA Gold Star Clinics will be held this year. Part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, these clinics offer horsemanship, stable management, mounted instruction and additional education from top clinicians and athletes. Sport leadership tracks these riders’ accomplishments as they advance through the sport and look for opportunities to support their efforts along the way.

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 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 Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals will be held concurrently with the EAP National Training Session at The University of Findlay’s James L. Child Jr. Equestrian Complex. Qualified finalists will be tested in three phases, including a written exam, horsemanship/identification exam and a hands-on practicum exam. HQC Finalists will be announced soon.

In addition to the competition, both EAP and HQC finalists will participate in joint educational seminars. Topics covered will include saddle fit, equine health, sports psychology, and rider fitness.

Auditing of all mounted sessions of the EAP National Training Session is free and open to the public.

For more information on the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, visit For more information on the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, visit




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