Devon Horse Show 2024: UEA Students Dominate the Dixon Oval

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Devon Horse Show & Country Fair 2024: i brillanti studenti della Upper Echelon Academy

DEVON, Pa. — The Devon Horse Show, held this year from May 22 to June 2, is one of the most prestigious shows for junior riders. The competition takes place during the end of the school year, one of the least convenient times for student-athletes. Many of Devon’s top junior competitors attend Upper Echelon Academy (UEA) to balance the demands of high-level competition alongside top-level academics.

Reese Merna, a full-time UEA senior from Mendham, New Jersey, received the R.W. “Ronnie Mutch” Equitation Championship title for Devon’s overall high score equitation rider. Merna also won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Medal and the WIHS, while placing third in the ASPCA Maclay and her section of the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. Impressively, Merna earned these honors while wrapping up her senior year by meeting with her UEA teachers during Devon. Merna credits UEA with her ability to balance rigorous academics alongside intense training and showing.

“UEA has been so helpful in providing me with the flexibility in my schedule which allows me to travel and show. The one-to-one instruction I get from qualified teachers makes school efficient and easy. Also, UEA always accommodates the inevitable last-minute schedule changes that go along with being a competitive equestrian.”

Another UEA full-time student, Elle Ehman from Milton, Georgia, took champion honors in the junior jumpers while also winning the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Section C. Like Merna, Elle earns top honors both in the ring and in the classroom. Elle explains, “I am so grateful for all the help I get from my teachers. Having outstanding teachers takes all the stress out of school, which allows me to focus on my riding.” Elle ends her junior year with almost a 4.0 average in rigorous classes, proving that having the right team makes it possible to achieve at the top levels of sport and school.

Other UEA full-time students with notable finishes in the Dixon Oval include Kate Hagerty, winner of the WIHS Equitation Classic Jumper Phase, and Christian Dominguez, winner of ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Class Section A and the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search.

UEA also supports riders who remain enrolled in brick-and-mortar institutions, such as Maggie King, a junior at The John Cooper School in Woodlands, Texas. At Devon, Maggie had many successful placings. She explains, “Riding at Devon is thrilling and intense, and UEA makes it possible for me to balance my academic work, even final exams, with the equestrian high point of being part of the Devon experience.”

UEA also supports younger riders such as Grace Stenbeck-Werner of North Salem, New York. Grace, a fifth-grader, tells US Equestrian that “Working with UEA means that I can miss school and stay on top of my academics. While at Devon, I was able to focus on my riding knowing that UEA would make sure I took care of my schoolwork.”

Grace’s ability to focus on her riding translated to impressive results, as she captured the Small Pony Hunter, Medium Pony Hunter and Grand Pony Hunter Championships and was named Best Child Rider on a Pony.

UEA works to help all students, whether elementary or high school, seasonal or full time, find a balance for greater success. UEA students’ top results at Devon show that having the right team allows equestrians to focus on their athletic pursuits, while school remains a top priority. As Kate Hagerty explains, “Especially during the hectic end of the school year, having UEA as part of my team means that I am able to simultaneously succeed in top competition while earning top grades in my AP’s and other challenging classes.”

Press release Devon Horse Show 2024

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