Stephen Foran of Lake Forest
The final training session of the Emerging Athletes Program was held November 15th-18th at Fields and Fences Farm in Gurnee, IL. Sixteen finalists from around the country spent the weekend developing both their riding and horsemanship skills. All the finalists first qualified at one of 10 regional clinics held earlier this year. During each clinic, including the finals, riders work with clinicians on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work as well as stable management and proper care and grooming. Finalists were also given a written test as part of their qualification for the final training session. All of this hard work led to the final day of competition held Sunday November 18th.
The final day of the training session began with morning barn chores and prepping horses for the day. This was overseen by Karen Golding, this year’s Stable Manager. Riders were then invited to walk the course with Lead Clinician and Olympian Peter Wylde. Before mounting their own horses, riders watched a demonstration of the course by Wylde. The day’s test would include a nation’s cup style competition where riders were broken up into four teams. Each team was made up of four riders with the option of a drop score. Riders were no longer only riding for top spot in the training session but were now facing the test of how to ride as a member of a team. Riders rode the course over two rounds and in the end the yellow team came out victorious. Clinicians then called back the top four overall riders after the weekend and asked them to switch horses. Clinicians wanted to see how riders could adapt quickly to a new style of horse yet still put in an effective jump off round.
After a closed debate session considering every skill and test presented to the riders over the weekend, clinicians announced this year’s winner as Stephen Foran of Lake Forest, IL. When asked how he felt about his win Stephen was at a loss for words stating simply “it feels amazing.” Foran went on to note how thankful he was for the opportunity to learn from the experienced clinicians on hand for the weekend. For winning the finals, Foran will receive a trip to the George Morris Horse Mastership Clinic this winter in Wellington, FL. Stephen’s other prizes included but were not limited to a $3000.00 grant for training with an USHJA approved trainer and $1500.00 to Dover Saddlery for riding apparel and equipment.
Other Chicago area riders competing in the finals included Conner Siegel and Alec Bozorgi. Conner was honored with the overall award for Stable Management.
EAP Finals Nations Cup Results
1st – Team Yellow
2nd – Team Green
3rd – Team Red
4th – Team Blue
2012 EAP Finals Clinicians
Peter Wylde – Lead Clinician
Karen Golding – Stable Manager
Kip Rosenthal – Sports Psychologist
Janice Marquis – Equine Physiotherapist
Sally Ike – USEF Managing Director of Show Jumping Activities
2012 EAP Outstanding Horse
Owned by Rush Weeden and Jamee Field