Category Archives for "News & Updates"

Oct 25

2021 New England Equitation Championships

By neec | News & Updates

Photos: Anne Gittins Photography


This year marks the 46th anniversary of the New England Equitation Championships and all were thrilled to be back in its traditional venue at The Big E in West Springfield, MA. This five-day event is run by the volunteer NEEC Committee and is one of the longest running and most prestigious equitation finals in the country. All five days were livestreamed on ClipMyHorse.TV.

Scott Alder, Jennifer Bliss, Gary Duffy, Ellen Raidt, Danny Robertshaw and William Sparks brought their experience and expertise to the judging panel. Scott Alder was also the course designer and made beautiful use of the Coliseum with flowing bending lines that offered stride options and challenging turns, testing each age group in different, skill-appropriate ways.

On Wednesday, October 20 the NEHC Adult Amateur 46+ Medal kicked off the show. Christina Marchand emerged as Champion with Reserve going to Bruce Thalman. Wynatte Chu won her section of the Open and was Champion in the 28-45 division with Leigh Gallagher taking Reserve. On Thursday, Nikki Diamantis won her Open and was the 22-27 Medal Champion. Miela Gross earned Reserve and also won her Open section. In the 18-21 group, 2019’s Junior Medal winner Taylor Madden kept up the trend of winning her Open section and was Medal Champion once again as well as Grand Adult Champion. Reserve went to Lila Ouellette.

All Junior Open sections ran on Friday as well as the written phase of the Horsemanship Class, taken by 104 riders. Originating at the NEEC and now in its 25th year, the Horsemanship Class combines a rider’s written test score, practicum, and first round Finals score to determine the overall top Junior Horseperson.

After the written test and open rounds, attendees in person and via livestream were treated to a equitation course strategy session. All six judges generously hosted an open Q&A forum where they discussed what constitutes a winning round in their eyes. Then, family and friends gathered for a fun-filled dinner and commemorative video celebrating Juniors in their last year. The Juniors vote for one of their peers to win the Junior Sportsmanship Award and this year they elected Iona Adams-Kruger.

Saturday marked the second year of hosting the USHJA 3’3″ Hunter Seat Medal Final – East.  98 Juniors took to the ring for round one. The top 25 returned for a second round and the top six were called back to test. Ella Witt took home the Champion ribbon (trainer: Luke Olsen, Redfield Farm) and Haley Edwardson earned Reserve (trainer: Linda Langmeier, The Ethel Walker School).

At the completion of the USHJA Medal, judge Danny Robertshaw of Danny and Ron’s Rescue was surprised with a parade of dogs who were adopted through his rescue! The NEEC made a donation to Danny and Ron’s in honor of the occasion and several of the Challenge of the States teams selected the rescue as their charity. A birthday celebration for judge Gary Duffy followed and then it was time for arguably the most anticipated class of the weekend…the world-famous Challenge of the States!

Riders with top scores in the Open competed on teams of five riders and a chef d’equipe to represent their home states – no help from trainers allowed! The Adults got to join in the fun this year with a team of their own.

Connecticut Team 2 won Gold, the New Jersey team won Silver and Massachusetts Team 1 eared Bronze. The individual high point winner was Jocelyn Mercereau. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all teams competed for prize money to donate to a charity of their choice. Gold chose DD’s Senior Sanctuary.  

Sunday’s NEHC Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final featured 209 riders. Last year’s Junior winner, Ellie Ferrigno, along with esteemed trainer and ‘R’ judge Tom Brennan lent their voices and knowledge to the livestream commentary during the final.

Between rounds, a number of awards were presented:

Jerry Kenney was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jerry is a lifelong New England horseman who got his start in the business as a teenager. His farm, Ascot Riding Center, made many rider and horse careers. A large and ebullient group of Jerry’s family and friends were in attendance for the award presentation.

Lindsey Bihuniak was named overall winner of the Katie Battison Horsemanship Award, winning both the written test and practicum phases.

Annalise Manoog earned the High Point Junior Rider Award.

Top scoring Juniors who never competed in a 3’6” final were eligible for a separate set of ribbons. First place went to Dakota Pandolfini.

After the awards, round two was underway. At its completion, there was no need for further testing – Annalise Manoog was the unequivocal winner and crowned Champion of the NEHC Junior Hunt Seat Medal (Trainer: Kathy Fletcher, Sam Berger, Amber Viera and the team at Grazing Fields Farm). Reserve Champion was awarded to Tessa Brown (Trainer: Kyla Makloghi of Rosemont Farm & Greg Prince).         

The NEEC and its tightknit community have a long history of generosity and giving back. Several grants and scholarships are awarded each year:

Daniela Carvajal won the first ever Mason Phelps “Spirit of the Sport” Grant. Mason created the New England Hunt Seat Medal class. The grant was awarded to the Junior Rider whose essay was voted among the top three by the scholarship committee, scored the highest first round score at NEEC of the three finalists and qualified to compete at the NHS 3’3” Medal or Maclay finals at The National Horse Show. The winner was awarded a complementary stall and entries at both the New England Equitation Championships and The National Horse Show plus a stipend from each organization.

Katie Kirwin won the inaugural Fred Hunt Adult Grant. To Commemorate his dedication to the New England horse world and his service on the NEEC committee for over 40 years, the NEEC sponsored an Adult Grant of $1,000 in Fred’s name. This grant goes to a qualified Adult Medal rider who demonstrates a financial need to participate in the NEHC Championships.

The Joe Medico Junior Grants went to Kyla Sullivan and Briana Skoog. Joe was a driver for JR Hudson Horse Transportation for over twenty years. To commemorate his dedication to the New England horse world JR Hudson Horse Transportation sponsors two grants of $1250 each. These grants go to qualified NE Junior Medal riders who demonstrate a financial need to participate in the NEHC Championships.

Rebecca Lafrance won the $2,000 Joanne C. Corsiglia Scholarship Award and Jenna Woods won the $500 NEHC Scholarship Award.

Adult Sportsmanship: Jessica Snider and Abigail Hopkins

Groom’s Award: Keilyn Carrissame

Sue Brainard Award: Susan Kremenzky and Dominic Silvestri

Jimmy Lee Adult Judge’s Choice: Contador

Jimmy Lee Junior Judge’s Choice: Davide
Nicholas Award: Oliver

For more information and detailed results:

Instagram and Facebook: @newenglandequitation

Oct 08

NEW: 2021 Health Regulations

By neec | News & Updates


  • Horses entering the competition grounds must be accompanied by documentation of Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpesvirus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months of entering the grounds. In the case that Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpesvirus vaccines are administered by a person other than a veterinarian, the exhibitor must provide the following: receipt of vaccine purchase which is signed by owner; name, serial number and expiration date of vaccine; and date of vaccine administration.

  • All equines entering a Massachusetts fairground must have a valid health certificate. Note: The Big E Fairgrounds in West Springfield requires a CVI issued within the prior 30 days for all equines entering the premises for any show, fair, or exhibition.

  • All equines originating from within and outside of the Commonwealth must have a negative USDA approved EIA test (i.e., Coggins test or ELISA test) dated within twelve months of entry.

  • Evidence of infectious, contagious or parasitic disease or failure to produce the necessary documents for health certification, vaccination or testing will result in the animal’s rejection for entry. THE INSPECTOR’S DECISION IS FINAL.
Aug 16

UPDATE to NEEC Qualifying Classes

By neec | News & Updates


Qualifying NEEC medal classes will only require a minimum of 3 riders to fill.

Combined medal classes will follow USEF rule EQ102.10.

If juniors and adults are combined the same horse can only be ridden once in the class.

Apr 06

2021 NEHC Junior Medal Qualifying Specifications

By neec | News & Updates

The New England Equitation Committee has extended last year’s change in qualifying specifications for the NEHC Junior Medal through the 2021 show season. Junior riders can now qualify for NEEC Finals in the following ways:

10 Points qualifies as a win.
1st place equals 10 points
2nd place equals 5 points

So 2 second places qualifies you for the finals. Once you have qualified, you are no longer eligible to compete in that seat for that year of Medal qualifying classes.

Mar 03

2021 New England Equitation Championships

By neec | News & Updates

2021: We will be back at the Big E this fall and are excited to be hosting the USHJA Medal Finals for a second year!

New this year: The New England Equitation Championships will be offering an NEEC Adult Grant in memory of Fred Hunt. Please see forms/awards for details and application.

Stay tuned for more exciting news about this year’s finals and sponsorship opportunities!

– NEEC Committee

Aug 08

USHJA 3’3″ Medal Specifications

By neec | News & Updates

Open to Junior Active Members of the USEF and USHJA. Foreign residents who are also members of USEF and USHJA will be eligible to compete. Eligible riders are those who have not ever competed in any of the following National Equitation Finals with fences at 3’6”: ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals (East or West), WIHS Equitation Classic Finals, Jump Canada Medal Finals or the North American Equitation Championship. Once a rider has won the USHJA 3’3” Hunter Seat Medal Finals, she/he is not eligible to compete again.

To be shown over a course of no less than eight obstacles with fence heights of 3’3” and spreads to 3’6” (exception: triple bar obstacles may have a maximum spread of 4’). One third of the obstacles must be oxers. Courses must include at least two changes of direction after the first obstacle. All courses must include at least three of the following: bending line, narrow jump (5’6”-8’), roll back turn, fence at the end of the ring, long approach to a single jump. Liverpools, water jumps or water used as decoration are prohibited.

A minimum of 25 riders (if available) will return for a second round of the event. More riders may be asked to return at the judge’s discretion. Two or more tests of a minimum of the top four competitors are required using USEF tests 1-17 H. Fences are required to be numbered.

Click here for specifications for the finals.

Mar 01

Welcome To NEEC News & Updates

By admin | News & Updates

Welcome to the New England Equitation Championships’ News & Updates blog! Here, you can find all announcements for the upcoming New England Finals. Make sure to check back to stay up-to-date with all of this years’ exciting changes.