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William Woods School of Equestrian Studies hosting premier Hunter/Jumper education program this week

The Equestrian Studies program at William Woods University (WWU) has been chosen to host the premier Hunter/Jumper education program this week on campus. The MZ Farms/United States Hunter Jumper (USHJA) Emerging Athletes Program (EAP), which provides opportunities for young riders to advance their horsemanship education and riding skills, will take place this week through June 9 at the University’s equestrian complex. Spectators are welcome to attend the ride sessions for a $10 fee.

The USHJA offers regional training sessions in areas where an appropriate host facility applies and that best serve the demographic population and geographic balance of those interested in participating in the program. Host facilities are determined on an annual basis by evaluating applications, geographical balance, ability of the facility to meet USHJA/EAP requirements, variance of dates, constituency opportunity and EAP committee recommendations with final review by the USHJA executive director.

This year William Woods is hosting the training program on campus for the first time.

“Hosting some of the region’s top young riders is an honor and we are proud to support the education of equestrians in the Emerging Athletes program,” said Jennie Petterson, Dean of Equestrian Studies at WWU. “We have had a number of William Woods students participate in the past and know the value of an immersive experience with top clinicians.”

The EAP continues to be of the USHJA’s premier education programs, made possible in part by the appropriate host locations that support the program. Hosts have the opportunity to bring members who are excelling within the sport into their facilities to produce a unique educational experience.

The clinician for this week is Cynthia Hankins, a former junior equitation star who placed in the top ten of several equitation finals before winning the American Horse Show Association Medal Finals in 1975. She has spent much of her professional career traveling between the U.S. and France, where she rides and trains at a top breeding farm. Many of her students have gone on the become successful professionals within

the Hunter/Jumper industry. Hankins holds a USEF R-rated judge’s license in both Hunter and Hunter Seat Equitation, has judged numerous shows in the U.S. and France, and several equitation finals including the 2011 American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals Maclay Finals at the National Horse Show in Lexington, Ky.