It’s been two decades since the United States came away with the World Eventing Championship title.

But you can bet, in their heart of hearts, the 12 athletes recently named to the 2023 Eventing Emerging Athlete Program are looking to one day put an end to that drought.

As one of the few U.S. training programs open to riders age 25 and under, the Eventing Emerging Athlete Program is used to identify and support a wider field of up-and-coming horse and rider combinations with the potential to develop into future Team candidates.

From January 16–20, 2023, selected athletes will have the opportunity to work with U.S. Eventing Development and Emerging Coach Leslie Law in Ocala, Florida. Both on the ground and in the irons, these 12 riders will build the knowledge and skills necessary to one day compete at the top of the sport for their country.

The majority of this year’s athletes were selected based on their application, specifically their results at the CCI3*-L level. Other applicants who have not yet achieved an MER at a CCI3*-L were talent spotted into the program by the Performance Advisory Team (designated with a * in the list below).

Here’s a brief (alphabetical) rundown of this year’s Eventing Emerging Athlete Program candidates:

Alexandra Baugh (Lexington, Kentucky): Last year’s 2021 RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year, Baugh, 21, currently campaigns four horses at the two-, three-, and four-star levels, including top mount Mr. Candyman. Here biggest career highlight to date: Being one of only two riders to finish double-clean in the 2021 Land Rover Three-Day Event CCI4*-S.

Amanda Beale (Malvern, Pennsylvania): A regular name on the Eventing Emerging Athlete list, Beale, 23, is the daughter of four-star eventer Sally Beale of Cairn O’Mount Stables in Pennsyvlania. In October, Beale and Carlson 119 earned a career-high fifth place at the USEF CCI3*-L at Fair Hill in Maryland.

Sophie Click (Coupeville, Washington): A veteran of the Area VII North American Youth Championships program—where she competed for four years—Click, 23, has earned consistent, top-10 placings with horses Quidproquo and Tarantino 54 at CCI4* competitions, including the Woodside and Twin Rivers Fall Internationals in California.

Kalli Core (Orange, Texas): Core, 20, was one of three riders talented-spotted into the 2023 Emerging Athlete Program, and currently trains with Jonathan Holling in Ocala, Florida. Core campaigns her two horses, Falconwood’s Glacier and Mastermind, at the two-star level, but in 2019, she and Cooley Master Courage beat out 18 competitors to win the CCI3*-L at Rebecca Farm. 

Alexa Gartenberg (Gladwyne, Pennsylvania): Gartenberg, 23, has been competing at the three-star level since 2019, which she and Louis M—a former mount of Cornelia Dorr (USA) and Pia Münker (GER)—won the Bromont Horse Trials CCI3*-S. Over the last two years, Gartenberg has campaigned Frame Shamrock and Cooley Kildaire to top CCI2*-S finishes in Bromont and Morven Park.

Cosby Green (Lexington, Kentucky): It’s been a heck of a fall for red-hot Green, 22, who had only recently moved up to Advanced before she won the Morven Park Fall CCI4*-S in October with Copper Beach (she placed third with her second horse, Highly Suspicious), and took sixth in the Dutta Corp Tryon International 3-Day CCI4*-L one month later. Green, who comes from an eventing family and currently attends the University of Kentucky in Lexington, also won Individual bronze at the 2019 North American Youth Championships with Takine de la Barbais.

Tommy Greengard* (Malibu, California): Another rider on the list who was talent-spotted into the program, Greengard, 23, is a current trainer at CHF ranch in Petaluma, California. Riding the eight-year-old KWPN gelding, Joshuay MBF, Greengard earned a series of top-10, CCI3*-S finishes at Galway Downs and the Twin Rivers Spring International in California and Aspen Farms in Yelm, Washington.

Kiersten Miller* (Rochester Hills, Michigan): Miller, who was talent-spotted into the program, is relatively new to the international level of competition, where she campaigns Ophelia, a veteran mount for Clayton Fredericks (AUS) and Mama Mia, who she produced up to the three-star level. In August, Miller, 20, and Mama Mia finished third in the CCI3*-S at River Glen Equestrian Park in New Market, Tennessee. 

Ben Noonan (Ballwin, Missouri): A student of Karen and David O’Connor, Noonan, 18, currently bases in Ocala, Florida. After competing up to the three-star level with his first mount Keep Kitty in 2020, he’s been gradually bringing along his younger string (QC First Class, Street Fighter, and Tout de Suite) as well. Recently, Noonan—who’s a big fan of William Fox-Pitt (GBR)—has been busy earning a series of consistent top-10 placings at the CCI2* level. He also won Individual and Team gold in the Youth Team Championship—East and, in 2020, became one of the youngest riders ever to earn the title of USEA Overall Young Rider of the Year. 

Meg Pellegrini (Wayne, Pennsylvania): At just 18 years of age, Pellegrini has an impressive resume. A veteran of the USEF Emerging Athlete Program, she won both the Galway Downs International CCI2*-S and the Twin Rivers CCI2*-L with RF Eloquence in 2019. One year later, she relocated to the East Coast, finishing third with RF Eloquence at the Great Meadow International CCI3*-S. The pair were subsequently named to the Adequan® USEF Futures Team Challenge. 

Cassie Sanger (Lakeville, Connecticut): Sanger, 18, moved up to the CCI3*-L level this summer and hasn’t looked back since. Aboard Fernhill Zoro, the high school student, who trains with Darragh Alexander in New York, earned the top Young Rider award and third place overall at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in October, beating out several Olympians in the process. Though she plans to attend college full-time next fall, Sanger isn’t ruling out a professional career in horses.

Madison Temkin (Sebastopol, California): After a fourth-place finish at her 2021 CCI4*-L debut at the Twin Rivers Spring International, Temkin relocated to Lexington, Kentucky full-time. The 22-year-old comes from a riding family (her mom Beth Tempkin Brown is her coach). Last spring, she campaigned the 15-year-old gelding Dr. Hart to two, impressive CCI4*-S second-place finishes at Galway Downs and Twin Rivers.