A United States Equestrian Association sanctioned Olympic Equestrian Eventing taking place at the Erie Hunt and Saddle Club in Edinboro, a place some may consider a hidden treasure in Erie County.
Co-Organizer Jean Kuhl says, “the Erie Hunt and Saddle Club is a non-profit horse club and we do a lot of horse shows, we do hunter paces.”
“We also do educational activities with 4H and the Pony Club.”
“And then we run this event”
Erie Hunt and Saddle President Peg Hull adds, “We think that it’s probably the best kept secret in erie county, because people don’t know we exist.” “And we exist to promote horsemanship.”
During the three-day event, amateurs of all ages to professionals such as Christine Longnecker, a competitor who has taken her horseback riding to the likes of Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and beyond, compete through preliminary rounds in preparation for future olympic rides.
Professional horseback rider Christine Longnecker says, “men and women horses, men and women people compete on absolutely equal playing fields in all aspects of our sport and that’s absolutely phenomenal.”
Kuhl says, “we run drasage, stadium jumping, and cross country. It’s what you see on a smaller level from the olympics.”
Local rider Hannah Van Damia growing up with horses in her family for several generations, has enjoyed competing with her “hanneberrian paint cross” horse named Hunter.
Waterford resident hannah van damia says, “I’ve had horses like i grew…I started out with ponies and then i worked my way up to a bigger horse like Hunter.”