USEA Podcast Channel

Get Pumped for #AEC18

The 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) are less than three months away, taking place this year at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, August 30-September 2, 2018. 

First, USEA Director of Programs and Marketing Kate Lokey shares some of the different things that competitors have to look forward to this year at the Colorado Horse Park, everything from the excellent facilities at the Horse Park and attractions in nearby Denver to the exciting parties for competitors and the new festival classes being offered this year. 

Next, hear from Matt Brown, who earned his first major championships title as the winner of last year's Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final winner aboard BCF Belicoso. Brown discusses the significance of that win, both how the $40,000 purse helped support his business and what it meant to take the title aboard BCF Belicoso, and how the AEC brings the professionals and amateurs of the eventing community together and provides an opportunity to compete at the same venue in a way no other event offers.

Finally, two-time Adequan USEA Gold Cup runner-up Doug Payne, who has attended the AEC every year since its inception 15 years ago. Payne talks about why the AEC is on his calendar every year as it provides an excellent test for the horses at every stage of training in his program and is great exposure for horses and riders alike. Payne also shares some tips and tricks for riders attending the AEC for the first time! 

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Tips on Developing a Partnership from Tik Maynard

Tik Maynard joins us on the USEA Podcast this week to discuss his new book, In the Middle Are the Horsemen, out this month from Trafalgar Square Books, how he develops a partnership using horsemanship techniques, and how that translates to riding horses in competition. 

Maynard begins by talking about how he first began writing, first for a small British Columbian magazine and then for the Chronicle of the Horse. He was approached by Trafalgar Square Books about writing a book and was enthusiastic about the opportunity to tell the story of how he got to where he is today and how he has developed his training philosophy.

Then, Maynard discusses some of the techniques he employs when working with a horse who is new to him or a young horse just beginning work. He stresses the importance of getting to know the horse, including what motivates him, and being patient, because some horses will need more time than others. Working with the horse to teach him how to yield to different types of pressure will help teach him now to think first and react second, which is an important skill for an event horse. Finally, he discusses different techniques for helping your horse build confidence. Maynard closes with some tips and takeaways for how to ensure your horse is successful in competition.

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2018 Intercollegiate Eventing Championship Preview

The 2018 Intercollegiate Eventing Championship will take place next weekend at the Virginia Horse Trials, May 24-27, 2018, and this week on the USEA Podcast we’re previewing the event with some members of the team who make this Championship possible! 

Rob Burk starts things off with an overview of the USEA Intercollegiate Program, which was officially established in 2014 and has grown exponentially over the last few years and now encompasses 30 colleges and universities and 300 student-athletes. He also discusses how the intercollegiate program fits into the greater eventing pipeline and other plans for youth programs in the future. 

Next, Leslie Threlkeld, chair of the USEA Intercollegiate Committee, talks about the importance of the Intercollegiate program and how it has strengthened the camaraderie between eventers at the college level, both on their respective campuses and within the eventing community at large. She also explains some of the outreach efforts the committee has undertaken to continue to grow the program and create more opportunities for collegiate eventers. 

Virginia Horse Trials Organizer Andy Bowles shares information about the format the event will take and what collegiate eventers have to look forward to once they arrive at the Championship. He also talks about the local amenities that are available to riders competing at the Virginia Horse Trials and the team that will officiate the event.

John Michael Durr is the course designer at this year’s Virginia Horse Trials and he joined the team at VHT through their mentorship program three years ago. He speaks about his experience with the mentorship program at Virginia and some of the challenges he’s prepared for the riders out on course.

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2018 LRK3DE Round-Up with Oliver Townend and Sara Gumbiner

This year’s only four-star first timer Sara Gumbiner comes on the show this week to share her experience at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. She and Polaris, her own and Vanessa Crumpley’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, finished the weekend in 27th place on a score of 76.6. Gumbiner talks about the atmosphere of the event, how she managed her nerves, the story of how she and “Larry” came to be partnered together, and what they learned together over the course of the weekend.

 Oliver Townend also comes on the show this week fresh off his victory in the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event with Angela Hislop’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Master Class. The pair finished on their dressage score of 28.7. Townend also finished 7th on Tom Joules’ 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, MHS Tom Joules, on a score of 35.3. Townend discusses his journey with Cooley Master Class, whom he’s had the ride on since the horse was 4 years old, what goes into traveling across the pond to compete, and how things went at the competition with both his horses. This weekend, Townend will be competing at the Badminton Horse Trials as he attempts to secure the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing!

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Unrecognized Events: An Eventing Pipeline

On the last episode of the USEA Podcast, we heard from USEA CEO Rob Burk about the USEA Educational Activities Program as well as Wendy Wergeles, organizer of The Event Derby in California, and Penny Morse, organizer of the Southeastern Schooling Show Championships at Chattahoochee Hills in Georgia. 

Continuing from last week's episode, this week Carolyn Mackintosh of The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm comes on the show to discuss the many different unrecognized events and schooling opportunities available at Loch Moy Farm throughout the year, including the six starter trials held in the spring and fall, cross-derbies held throughout the winter, and twilight eventing in the spring and summer. The Maryland Horse Trials offers levels from Introductory and Elementary all the way up through the new Modified level. Among the unique things about the unrecognized events at the Maryland Horse Trials is that they offer a special award to instructors based on the performance of their students as a way to recognize their hard work and dedication to the sport. 

Marc Donovan, Organizer of the Adequan War Horse Event Series held at the Carolina Horse Park, comes on the show next to talk about the history of the series and how it has grown over the years. The series began in 2012 hosting five events a year and a championship in November, offering Training level on down through Maiden and Green as Grass levels. In 2017, due to the popularity of the events, a sixth event was added to accommodate the growing number of entries. The War Horse Series has some very generous sponsors that allow for great prizes, including prize money at championships. 

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Get the Scoop on the USEA Educational Activities Program

At its founding, the USEA was established as an educational organization to teach people about the sport of eventing, and the USEA views the support of all educational opportunities as part of our duty to the sport. This includes the many unrecognized competitions, clinics, and schooling opportunities available to competitors as part of the USEA’s Educational Activities Program.

Rob Burk starts things off by explaining the USEA’s Educational Activities Program, which includes everything from educational activities like clinics and cross-country schooling days to unrecognized events and tests. Organizers of these unrecognized events and educational activities can register with the USEA and receive coverage under the USEA’s $1,000,000 liability insurance policy, be included on the USEA website’s Educational Activities Calendar and the weekly eNewsletter, and receive promotion on the USEA website and other media outlets.

Penny Morse next comes on the program to talk about the Southeast Schooling Show Championships at Chattahoochee Hills, which will be held for the second year in a row on September 29-30, 2018. She discusses the necessary qualifications, including the volunteerism requirements, different events where you can qualify, the levels offered, and the prizes you can win!

Wendy Wergeles wraps things up by introducing The Event Derby, which is a schooling event series that’s been held all around Area VI over the course of the last 21 years but has most recently been held three times a year at the Fresno County Horse Park. Wergeles describes how the events are structured, including the different formats and the different levels available to competitors.

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USEA Classic Series Continues to Grow

We are joined this week on the USEA Podcast by Gretchen Butts, Chair of the USEA Classic Series Task Force, to talk about the USEA Classic Series and how the program continues to grow.

First, Butts talks about the history of the program, how it has developed over time, and the value it adds for competitors. Butts also speaks about the different educational aspects of the Classic Series competitions and the educational materials that are available for competitors. The newest educational resource available for both riders and organizers is the USEA Classic Series Handbook which includes information on qualifications, a specification chart, helpful hints for competitors riding the roads and tracks, and checklists and time tables for organizers. Finally, Butts offers up some helpful tips for riders who are considering competing in a USEA Classic Series long format event for the first time.

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Highlights from the 2018 ICP Symposium

Leslie Law and Kai-Steffen Meier join us this week to share some highlights from their teaching as featured clinicians at the 2018 ICP Symposium at Longwood Farm South in Ocala, Florida, February 19-20, 2018. The two-day symposium was dedicated to the training of young event horses, with the first day focusing on flatwork and the second day focusing on work over fences, both show jumping and cross-country.

Law and Meier both discuss what they focused on each day, including exercises and techniques they used to help riders develop the horse's gaits. Law focused on developing the young horse's natural rhythm while Meier demonstrated how to begin to ask for collection from the young horse. On day two, both Law and Meier coached riders through developing the appropriate forward, uphill canter for show jumping and then translating that forward gait to the cross-country field. Both clinicians closed by offering up their top tips for working with young horses.

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The Next Generation: Eventing 18 Winter Training Sessions

On this, the 200th episode of the USEA Podcast, we are joined by Eventing 18 Program List members Carson Richards, Sophie Tice, and Delaney Vaden, who attended the winter training sessions in Ocala, Florida and Temecula, California in January.

Carson Richards is a South Carolina native based in North Carolina for the winter, but she intends to spend the summer training with her aunt Julie Richards. Richards attended the training sessions with her 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Mr. Cool. She spoke about her partnership with Fernhill Mr. Cool and how they’ve developed together over the last four years, including their two trips to NAJYRC, what she hoped to get out of the training session, her plans for the spring season, and her goals for the future.

Next, we hear from 16-year-old Sophie Tice who trains with James Alliston and Helen Bouscaren in Castro Valley, California. Tice has only been riding for six years, and she tells the story about how she got into riding and how she got the news that she had been named to the Eventing 18 List. She has been leasing James Alliston’s 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Mojo, since 2014, and she talks about Mojo’s history, personality, and their partnership together. She talks about how she benefitted from the training sessions, what specific elements they focused on, and what she’s looking forward to for this season and beyond.

Finally, Delaney Vaden shares the story of switching from riding Paso Finos to eventing and the early days of her eventing career, including how she found her current mount, a 14-year-old American Warmblood gelding named RedRox Jazzman, who was her ride for the winter training sessions. She talked about what she’s working toward with “Jazz,” including her focus during the training sessions. Even though she was nervous, she explained how honored she feels to have been chosen for the Eventing 18 List, and what it’s been like to work with Leslie Law as well as her fellow teammates.

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Introducing ERQI: The EquiRatings Quality Index

The USEA announced earlier this week that EquiRatings Quality Indexes (ERQIs) are now available for all USEA registered horses who have competed in the last five years. EquiRatings formed a partnership with the USEA in 2017 with the goal of creating a risk management tool that allows members to track and monitor risk in a tangible way. The ERQI is calculated as a probability between 0 and 1, with values closer to 1 indicating statistically higher levels of positive performance in the cross-country phase for that horse at any given level.

This week, EquiRatings' Founder and Director Sam Watson and Managing Director Diarm Byrne discuss how EquiRatings got started, the vision behind the company, their commitment to the risk management aspect of the sport, and how this tool will help riders make informed decisions.

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