FINDLAY, Ohio — Maura Cherny of Cazenovia, N.Y. was named reserve champion at the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, hosted by The University of Findlay, Nov. 9-13, in Findlay, Ohio.

On the final day of the session, after watching each of 16 riders complete two rounds in a Nations Cup-style competition the EAP Committee members present-Mary Babick, Amy Center, Sally Ike, Tracy Forman, James Morris, Mary Roskens, Sunny Stevens, Kip Rosenthal, and Anne Thornbury-along with Olympian and Lead riding clinician, Joe Fargis decided to bring back four riders to ride off for the reserve champion placing. In addition to Cherny, returning for the ride off were Alicia Weismann, of Southampton, N.J., as well as  Katie Pelzel, and Kiersti Wylie. The four riders were assigned new mounts, and were given two warm up fences before they had to complete the course a third time.

Earning the Reserve Champion title was 20-year-old Cherny who rode Goldfish, owned by University of Findlay alumna Kiera Philipot, for the week and Waffle, owned by the University of Findlay, in Sunday's ride off.

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"The whole week on Goldfish was very good; I really liked him," said Cherny. "I like riding with Joe and how he starts out with the horses because that's how I like to start [my rides]-I like to just slowly start and feel them and see what happens. I liked feeling Goldfish kind of turn on when the competition started which is awesome and what I wanted. Waffle was a completely different ride, but he's a powerhouse. I saw him go last year, and 'I was like I want to ride that horse.'"

Her biggest take away from Fargis this weekend was to "always be patient and don't set a horse up to fail because that's not fair; you're not going to get anywhere."

Goldfish, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, also won the EAP Outstanding Horse Award.

As a top-two finisher, Cherny received a riding spot at a 2019 USHJA Gold Star Clinic in the 1.10/1.15m section. The clinics identify jumper athletes who have the skill and desire to excel in the sport. The four-day clinics offer horsemanship, stable management, mounted instruction and additional educational lectures and seminars from industry leading professionals and clinicians.

The Nations Cup-style competition culminated the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program and National Training Session. The event included four days of riding instruction, stable management evaluation, a written test, the Nations Cup and ride-off, as well as a variety of educational seminars.

Seminars included equine anatomy in motion and a visible rider demonstration with Centered Riding clinician Peggy Brown, sport psychology session with EAP Committee member and sport psychologist Kip Rosenthal, an equine appraisal session with Findlay alumna Sara Ballinger, an equine therapy session with Findlay alumna Pamela Pivaronas, and a hands-on educational lunging seminar with lead stable management clinician Anne Thornbury.

 The EAP riders drew for their horses from a pool of provided mounts and had four days to get to know them through flatwork and over fences training with Fargis before contesting the Nations Cup.

"The horses that schools have provided in the past have been outstanding and this year was no exception," said Ike. "We are very appreciative of the generosity of all the donors and the University of Findlay for providing such talented horses for this event."

The 16 riders were divided into four groups to work together during the event and compete as a team in the Nations Cup. Each team was also supported by two stable managers during the competition. Teams were named after each of the four horses on the 2018 World Equestrian Games Gold Medal U.S. Show Jumping Team.

Team Zeremonie (Bella Canzano, Maura Cherny, Leacy Paul, Genevieve Munson, and stable managers Lauren Alsborg and Elle Brady) earned gold, Team Cristalline (Kit Cunningham, Katie Pelzel, Alicia Weismann, Kiersti Wylie and stable managers Johanna Jessen and Devina Stone) earned silver, Team Clinta (Sam Berry, Bridget Finnerty, Ada Rohan, Madeline Vorhies, and stable managers Annie Drew and Selina Petronelli) earned bronze and Team Eddie Blue (Cathleen Driscoll, Hope King, Cary Hundley, Elise Vandamme, and stable managers Frances McGivern and Leah Samouhos) placed fourth.

All eight of the stable managers this year also were awarded spots to work with lead stable manager Colleen Reed at one of three 2019 USHJA Gold Star Clinics.

Leah Samouhos, of Pittstown, N.J. was not only the Peer-Nominated Sportsmanship Award winner, she was named Oustanding Stable Manager.

For more information about the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/USHJA Emerging Athletes program, visit

Horsemanship Quiz

Two local equestrians were also among only 24 invited to the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, held in conjunction with the Emerging Athletes Program.

Madeline Rideout, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and Matt Tracy, Pennington, N.J. were among the highest scoring HQC participants throughout the qualifying period, that went head-to-head for individual medals at HQC Nationals. Nationals participants, ranging in age from 13 to 21, completed three phases including a written exam, a horsemanship/identification exam, and a hands-on practicum exam, which was split into two sections, A and B, based on cumulative scores from the first two phases Overall medals were based on cumulative scores from the written exam, the horsemanship/identification exam and Practicum A.

As part of the HQC Nationals, finalists participate in a variety of educational seminars in addition to three phases of testing. This year's seminars included a sport psychology session with sport psychologist Kip Rosenthal, an equine therapies seminar with therapist and University of Findlay alumna Pamela Pivaronas, an equine appraisal seminar with appraiser and University of Findlay alumna Sara Ballinger, and an interactive classroom lecture on equine nutrition and gut health with University of Findlay professor and equine nutrition specialist Robin Koehler.

For more information about the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Program, visit

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