Wildcats of the University of Kentucky Take on the Intercollegiate Eventing Championships
by Anna Robinson
Four horse and rider phenoms from the
University of Kentucky Eventing Teamare at this year's Intercollegiate Eventing Championships held at the Virginia Horse Trials May 24-27. There is a fun team environment along with some serious skills within the UK Eventing team and they plan to carry that spirit and talent all the way to Virginia! Basketball isn't the only sport rocking the UK campus. The other secret weapon of the eventing team of KY Wildcats? Always bring a bit of the classic Southeastern Conference (SEC) tailgate atmosphere! Hey, it's important to have fun while representing the University to the best of their ability. Let's meet the equestrian Wildcats that will be representing the University of Kentucky this year.
Jackie LeMastus and Indian Mill aka "Monkee"
First up is Jackie LeMastus on Indian Mill, known within the UK team as “Most likely to hit a buzzer beater," riding Indian Mill. This pair is in their first season together and has completed multiple events at the preliminary level, placing second at Pine Top and ninth at the 1* at Fair Hill in April. “Monkee” as he is known in the barn, is quite cheeky and has become a barn favorite known for being “smelly” as he bosses around his paddock mates and comes in filthy every morning. He previously competed through the 4* level with Paul Tapner overseas, and Jackie has competed through the 2* level with a previous NAJYRC mount, Tatton Winter. Jackie and Monkee’s goals this year are to build a strong partnership and complete their season at the Intermediate level.
Jackie LeMastus and Exmoor Denver aka "Dumpling"
This pair has competed together for four years, completing multiple preliminaries and most recently won the prelim at the Jump Start Intercollegiate Challenge in the fall. Jackie and “Dumpling” as he is known in the barn, were members of the winning UK intercollegiate team at the Intercollegiate Challenge at Spring Bay Horse Trials in April and have competed for UK for two years. The pair's goals this year include a move back up to Preliminary and successful completion of a CCI* in the fall.
Elizabeth Silvia-Chanley "Most likely to be Coach Cal" and Lillith
With five years together, Elizabeth and Lillith are one of the most seasoned pairs heading to nationals. They’ve completed multiple novice level events and were part of the winning UK team at FENCE horse trials. Their goals for the season include having safe, fast rounds leading them to the Training Three Day at the Hagyard Classic this fall. A special tradition for Elizabeth and Lillith are that they always end their XC warm up with a “pump-up” song to get in the zone. Elizabeth points out that the day she bought Lilllith was the day that she knew she wanted to be a competing member of the UK team. Lillith is a barn favorite and is known for being cuddly with a big personality.
Mia Fox, aka "Most Likely the Hype Man," and Her Horse Sport Tracker, "Trac"
Mia Fox was just 11-years-old when she stumbled upon Trac, then a 5-year-old off-the-track thoroughbred (OTTB). They quickly became soulmates and have been together ever since. After competing in the hunter show circuit for a few years, they decided to event. While eventing, they have successfully competed through the Training level, including a top 15 finish at The American Eventing Championships for three years in a row. They made their first appearance here at the Virginia Horse Trails last spring, earning a first place finish at the Intercollegiate Championships in the Training division. This pair will be making their Prelim debut this week, despite a health set backs with Mia recently having to undergo two surgeries during spring semester. Her goal for the weekend is to, "Get around clean and hope to stay on track with my goal of accomplishing a CCI* in the fall!"
Shannon Mccall, Dubbed “Most likely to be the Playmaker” aboard Bam Bam
Shannon Mccall and Bam Bam have been together for three years, marked by Shannon's conviction to map out a goal and then achieve it. With a successful year at training level, the pair moved back to novice to up the confidence level of horse and rider. This thoughtful approach by Shannon resulted in being part of the winning UK Intercollegiate Team at FENCE Horse Trials in the spring. Their goals include moving back up to training and ending the season on the training three day.
Traveling along with the team this year is Bowman, our team mascot who is a Picolli Pony - gift from Fleeceworks.
Editor's Note: At Fleeceworks, we had the opportunity to work with several members of the UK Eventing team during the Land Rover 3-Day Event at the horse park in Kentucky. These young women are intelligent, hard working and fun. They learned quickly, demonstrated excellent customer service and asked great questions about life as entrepreneur in the equestrian market. We couldn't have done it without their help and support! In exchange for their help, Fleeceworks donated saddle pads to the team after analyzing the needs of the horses.