August 1- August 5 at The Colorado Horse Park

Join us at The Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, with renowned clinicianKip Rosenthal and stable management expert Nanci Snyder. The deadline to apply for this Regional Training Session is May 5.

During the extensive five-day EAP Regional Training Sessions, riders have the opportunity to work with top riding clinicians and some of the country’s leading stable managers, where instruction focuses on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, as well as an intensive stable-management curriculum that incorporates proper care and grooming, horsemanship skills, and barn management. Riders provide their own horses for the Regional Training Session and are expected to provide all necessary care themselves.

Auditing for this session is available for $50/day. Contact Vivien Van Buren at (303) 883-6560 to reserve a spot today.

For more information on the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, including eligibility requirements and to apply, visit

Congratulations to Zone 8 members who are participating in late summer EAP Regional Training Sessions, including the session at Colorado Horse Park

Colorado Horse Park Session, Aug. 1-5 with Kip Rosenthal and Nanci Snyder.

  • Sophia Corbett, 16, Englewood, Colo.
  • Nicole Davis, 15, Erie, Colo.
  • Kennedy Eaton, 19, Monument, Colo.
  • Grace Leonard, 17, Denver, Colo.
  • Claire Lyons, 16, Fort Lupton, Colo.
  • Grace McReynolds, 15, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Caroline Molther, 19, Parker, Colo.
  • Katie Pelzel, 16, Fort Lupton, Colo.
  • Carrley Smith, 16, Boulder, Colo.
Katie Pelzel were awarded an EAP Grant thanks to the USHJA Zone 8 Committee and USHJA Foundation.
Katie Pelzel
Stay tuned to see who is selected to participate in the EAP National Training Session. Click here for more information about EAP.
Colorado rider Competes at FEI North American Children’s, Junior and Young Rider Championships
Abbey Soffer clearing the water.
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Karssen for EqSol/USHJA Archives

Congratulations to Colorado rider Abbey Soffer, 18, Aspen, Colo., on participating in the Adequan/FEI North American Children’s, Junior and Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, July 18-23 at HITS in Saugerties, New York.  Click here to view full results.

Sarah Gonzalez & Kona (far left)
Photo credit: Louise Taylor/USHJA Archives

Congratulations to Sarah Gonzalez and her horse Kona for winning the silver medal in the 1.20/1.30m Junior and Amateur Team Championships at the USHJA Zones 7 & 8 Jumper Team Championships at GO Show in Oklahoma City.

Nominate Someone Deserving Today!
Click here to nominate someone for one of these awards! 

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 HH Ambassador

Emily McConnell – Littleton, CO

Emily grew up riding with her mom and dad, Jim and Kris McConnell at Coventry Farms in Littleton, CO. Throughout her junior career she was lucky enough to get lessons with Kathy Johnson, Janet Hischer and John McConnell. Some of the accomplishments she is most proud of include showing in her first Grand Prix at the age of 13 on a horse named Rosie, competing in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2008, receiving two all Americans in her college career and getting to move to the east coast to work for the great Anne Kursinski. Emily has ridden in many clinics in her life, which include George Morris, Bernie Traurig, Fran Dotelli, Anne Kursinski and John Pearce.

Emily got her first working student position in 2009 working for Rancho Corazon and her uncle John McConnell. She was lucky enough to get to show two 6-year-olds at Thermal in 2010, both of which were sold at the end of the circuit. From there she received an athletic scholarship to ride on the NCAA team at New Mexico State University. During college, Emily went to work for Karen Cudmore at Heartland Farms in Omaha, NE where she got to ride and show many nice horses including Superbad and Igor. After she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology she went to work for Harriet Bunker who was riding for Suzie Balenseifen at the time. She was Harriet’s assistant for about 8 months when she decided to go to Holland to ride for John Steeghs for two months. After that, Emily received an assistant riding and teaching position for Market Street Inc., Anne Kursinski’s farm in Frenchtown, NJ.

Emily is now back in Colorado riding and teaching out of Coventry Farms.

Levi, is a 13yr old TB Mare standing about 16h. She is a hot mare who loves her job. She is honest as the day is long and will always take her rider from one side of the fence to the other. She loves cross country and trails too! She has been competing locally in Colorado in the Schooling Jumper Division (2’9) and ribbons every show. Recently did a Mini Prix and finished 2nd! She had several years off after a short race career, so although this Mare is 13 her brain and body is younger.

This horse is a confidence builder for the right rider!
UTD on maintenance and a fairly easy keeper. Easy to load, can live outside, good in herd, and barefoot behind. Can easily jump up to 3’3. Video Available!

**Just won two schooling jumper classes at the Fox Hill CHJA Show
**For sale at reduced rate as owner in College and must sell**
$2,500.00 or best offer
Contact Sarah 203-470-4521 or

Learning From a Master: Bernie Traurig Brings His Expertise to the Colorado Horse Park

By Hacked Horse Contributor Kristina McCombie

Parker, Colo. – Riders from California, Colorado and Arizona were treated to a clinic with one of the nation’s best riders/trainers/clinicians Bernie Traurig on July 3rd and 4th. Traurig, founder of, has a storied career spanning decades in hunters, jumpers and equitation, as well as in Dressage and 3-Day Eventing. Traurig’s quick trip to Colorado was not for vacation; 20+ riders and even more auditors were treated to Traurig’s teaching during the two-day clinic held at the Colorado Horse Park.

Jill Pelzel looks on as Traurig selects a bit from his bit bag.

Katie Pelzel and her horse Caspian jumping in great form.

The groups were split into homogeneous sections – first was the 1.10m and up jumpers, then the Big Eq (3’6”) group, a 3’-3’3” equitation group, and a 3’ hunter/equitation group. Many riders from Colorado took advantage of this clinic, but many other riders here to show at Summer in the Rockies found themselves in ring 7 learning from the master. Traurig went on to say that the second group (Jaden Olsen-CO, Katie Pelzel-CO, Abi Kelly-CO, Tali De Jong-CO, Caitlyn Lovingfoss-CA, Emery Volkert-CO) was the best group he’s ever taught.

Abi Kelly takes a jump as Bernie Traurig watches on

Traurig met with each rider before beginning the groups and inspected tack – especially bits. He brought a bit bag with him, and switched many horses from their current bits to one he thought might bring more success for horse and rider – and in many cases he was correct! Traurig discussed the differences in bit use from schooling to showing, and happily explained his choices for each bit change to riders, trainers, and auditors. Some horses were changed two to three times, others not at all. Trainer Jen Duffy found her 1.25m jumper happily jumped around the second day in a fat snaffle after working with the bit a day before – a suggestion from Traurig. He also checked riders’ stirrups and made a few adjustments, mostly longer. Traurig discussed the recent trend of “posting” the canter, instead of creating a soft seat, and said that stirrup length has a lot to do with a rider’s ability to control their seat.

Arizona-based rider Fallon O’Connell gets her stirrup checked by Traurig before her session begins.

During the two days, Traurig also talked about numerous things he sees in the show rings today, told stories about horses and riders from his past, and even asked the audience to get in on the fun. The second day was all about courses, and the first group competed in a jump-off, with the fastest time being the “winner.” Everyone watched the rounds, and guessed the time based on the track, with Traurig explaining to the riders and auditors why certain horses had certain times. He was also happy when a Thoroughbred won, as that is one of his favorite breeds. During the second group, riders competed over the same course as the jumpers, only this time as a “mock medal” round. Judges were in the audience, and riders came back to test over a crowd-designed work off.

Jen Duffy and Eloun

The top things learned over the clinic:

  • Walking: According to Traurig, there are two ways to walk a horse: with a long rein so they can stretch, or with contact and a following arm.
  • Flatwork: Two things should always be part of your flatwork regimen – leg yield and haunches in. And flatwork should always be a part of a horse’s training plan.
  • Flying Changes: Why should we sit for changes? Since we should ride our courses with a light half seat, we should teach our horses to get changes in this seat. We shouldn’t have to change our seats just to get a change.
  • Making a turn to a big jump: When the jumps get bigger, we need to be smarter about the track. It becomes difficult for a horse to turn from less than three strides. Practice at home over a pole making a parallel turn and finding it three strides exactly.
  • Practice makes perfect: Horses don’t need to jump everyday, but riders need to practice their eye. Use poles on the ground during your flatwork and practice finding a distance out of the step. Strengthen your eye over poles – your horse will thank you during your next time jumping.
  • Use your resources: The Internet has provided us with a plethora of resources including videos of the medal finals, and almost every grand prix from all over the world. Watch the best of the best – watch their hands, their seats, and their legs. Watch and learn. Then watch again.
  • Visualize: The top riders in the sport visualize themselves doing their course. Why can’t we? Traurig gave each rider time to visualize their course before beginning – a practice he thinks should be more commonplace.