by Katherine O. Rizzo (first published in the February 2024 Equiery)

The U.S. Eventing Association presented members with various high score awards and achievement grants during its annual convention this past December. Below are some highlights of Maryland national accomplishments in the sport of eventing!

Elyse Eisenberg’s Trendy Fernhill finished the 2023 season ranked ninth on the Standlee Premium Western Forage Horse of the Year standings with 148 points. The Irish Sport Horse gelding was competed this season up through the CCI4* level by Jenny M. Caras of Georgia.

Hedgerow Farm’s Connemara cross Delilah’s Boy won USEA Pony of the Year honors. The 13-year-old grey gelding, competed by Kendal Fansler, had a stellar season capped with the Junior Novice 15 & Under championship at the American Eventing Championships in August. The pony also finished the year as the second place Novice Horse. Fansler, who is from Clarksville, was the 2023 champion Junior Novice rider as well and topped the Novice Interscholastic Eventing League list.

Carlin Keefe of Sandy Spring finished the year with a sixth place ranking on the Preliminary Junior Rider list. She also earned the championship for the Interscholastic Eventing League at the Preliminary level and placed fifth at the Modified level. She received the Seema Sonnad Grant for 2023, while her mother, Rumsey Keefe, earned the Roger Haller Scholarship for continuing education and training towards USEF Technical Delegate licensing.

James Power of Mt. Airy was ranked ninth on the Modified Junior Rider list. He finished out the year with a seventh place finish in the CCI1*-L at the Virginia Horse Center riding Brambleridge Ponder the Truth. Power was also ranked eighth on the Interscholastic Eventing League list for the Modifed level and eighth at the Training level.

Ainsley Hagen of Poolesville finished fourth at Modified on the Young Adult Rider list. Hagen has been competing several horses this past season with Risque S being the most successful one at the Modified level.

Bailey Kent of Point of Rocks was ranked seventh on the Interscholastic Eventing League Modified list and fourth on the Interscholastic Eventing League Training list. Kent finished out the season winning the Waredaca Classic Three Day Event at Modified with Scooby Dooby Doo.

Julie Bigham of Ashton finished out the season ranked fifth for Modified Adult Rider. Bigham has been competing the former five-star horse Bendigo this past season at the Modified and Training levels. She also earned fourth for Modified Adult Amateur Rider.
Molly Sherman of Dickerson finished fifth for Modified Adult Amateur Rider. Sherman competed Windsome this past fall, placing in the top 10 at all four Modified events she entered. They finished the season with a third place finish at the Old Tavern Horse Trials at Preliminary.

Luke Horah of Rising Sun was ranked seventh on the Modified Adult Amateur Rider list. He rode Zelina FLF, STF No Doubt, and Coopers Marck at that level this past season. Horah placed 10th in the CCI1*-S at Plantation Field International with Zelina FLF.
Hannah Hawkin’s DHI Kickodieza earned fourth place for Modified Horse year-end standings. Hawkin took over the ride of the Dutch Warmblood gelding this past spring from Lynn Symansky.

Emerson Kasley of Laytonsville placed sixth in the Interscholastic Eventing League Training list. She and her Irish Sport Horse Global Venture won at Loudoun Hunt Pony Club’s summer event and finished second at The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm in July and October as well as second at Fair Hill International in May. Global Venture also earned the USEA Area II “Luck of the Irish” award for the top Irish Event Horse in Area II.

At Novice, Gillian Smith of Monrovia finished second for the Young Adult Rider list. She placed third at Novice in the Waredaca Classic Three Day event with Red Cloud and also finished seventh in the Area II Championship at Novice. The pair won both at Waredaca in August and Full Moon Farm in July.

Katherine Holzrichter of Crofton was ranked third on the Novice Young Adult Rider list. This past year she won with her own Cleveland Bay Idlehour Center Stage at Seneca Valley Pony Club’s June event, MCTA, also in June, and Morven Park in March. Holzrichter also was the top ranked rider on the Intercollegiate Novice list for 2023.

Izzy Lenk of Clarksburg finished the season sixth on the Interscholastic Eventing League Novice list. She won three out of five events this past season with Kiltubrid Harley: The Maryland Horse Trials in October, Marlborough in September and Seneca Valley, also in September.

Emma Whitaker of Clarksville earned top honors for Beginner Novice Junior Rider and Beginner Novice Interscholastic Eventing League lists. She spent the 2023 season campaigning HSH Golden Boy and placed third at the AECs in the Junior Beginner Novice division. They also won the Beginner Novice division at the Waredaca Classic Three Day Event last year and finished the season by winning Full Moon Farm’s Fall event. HSH Golden Boy, who is owned by Hedgerow Farm, was ranked number one on the Beginner Novice Horse list for 2023.

Eva Reynolds finished the season in fifth place for the Beginner Novice Young Adult Rider list. Reynolds, who is from Hollywood, rode Ballyknock On Time to top 10 finishes at all five events where they competed in 2023, including a second at Millbrook in July and a second at Spring Bay Horse Trials in March. The pair placed fourth in the Beginner Novice Horse division at the AECs. Their stellar season earned Reynolds third place on the Beginner Novice Intercollegiate list as well.

Emma Makovitch of Annapolis placed ninth on the Interscholastic Eventing League Beginner Novice List. Makovitch rode Twoggeron to win at the Maryland Horse Trials in July and finished out the year with a Novice win at Waredaca’s October event.
Megan Nock of Girdletree finished fifth on the Beginner Novice Adult Rider list. Nock rode Tidewater’s Breeze to ninth place in the Beginner Novice Rider division at the AECs and won the Senior Beginner Novice Rider division at the Virginia Horse Center in November.

Jeannette Lussi was ranked eighth on the Master Rider list for Beginner Novice. Lussi, who is from Gibson Island, finished 13th in the Master Beginner Novice Amateur division at the AECs with Rock’N Ranger and ninth in the Beginner Novice Area II Championships. Lussi also was ranked fifth on the Beginner Novice Master Amateur Rider list. Rock’N Ranger placed seventh on the Beginner Novice Horse list for 2023.