This week on the USEA Podcast, listen in to hear from course builder Eric Bull and course designer Captain Mark Phillips, who are both working on the cross-country course at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).
Eric Bull talks about some of the challenges posed by the weather in preparing the cross-country course as well as the long-term planning that has gone into creating the course for the World Equestrian Games. He discusses how the course will make use of the terrain available at Tryon and the water complexes that have been created for the course. He also touches on the different footing that riders will encounter on course and talks about what he's liked about working with the team at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Captain Mark Phillips then comes on the show to discuss the distance of the track, the time the course will take, and the number of efforts riders will tackle. Phillips talks about the "big picture," how he went about designing the track for the WEG course, and the challenges they have encountered before getting into some of the details of the course. He closes with some advice for the riders who will be taking on the track he has created.
It was a big weekend for eventing at the 2018 Event at Rebecca Farm with 650 competitors in the horse trials and FEI divisions and the North American Youth Championships (NAYC) also taking place during the event. This week, hear from the winners of the NAYC CCIJ* and CICOY2*, McKinsey Wickman and Alexandra Baugh, as well as Tamra Smith, winner of the Rebecca Farm Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3*, and Frankie Thieriot Stutes, who won the CCI3* wire to wire.
Plus, continuing with our World Equestrian Games preview series, Lynn Symansky's groom Kendyl Tracy comes on the show to talk about her relationship with Donner and what it's like to have another opportunity to be a groom for the US Team.
The 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) are headed west this year to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, and with that comes some unique challenges for horses and riders in the form of high elevation and increased temperatures. This week, husband and wife veterinary team Erin Contino and Chris Kawcak, who both practice out of the Colorado State Veterinary Teaching Hospital and will both be competing at this year’s AEC, offer advice to competitors on ways they can help their horses cope with the change in elevation and the warm weather.
Then, listen in to an interview with Lauren Keiffer on her preparation with Vermiculus for the 2018 World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina this fall. Stay tuned for interviews with the other riders and their teams in the coming weeks!
The Volunteer Incentive Program was established in 2017 and in just one year has experienced incredible growth, both in the number of volunteers using the Eventing Volunteers app and in the number of organizers putting the app to good use. In 2016, when the app was being piloted in Area II, it had just 800 registered volunteers. This year, the app has over 6,000 registered users and is used by 86 USEA recognized events across the country.
Bonnie Kibbie, chair of the USEA Volunteer Committee talks about the responsibilities of the committee and the how the Eventing Volunteers app has grown and developed with feedback from both volunteers and organizers, as well as some of the benefits it provides for volunteers and organizers alike. The app has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible, making it easy to sign up for volunteer jobs, log hours, check out leaderboards, and more!
Kibbie also discusses some of the other projects the Volunteer Committee has undertaken. In addition to the number of resources the Committee has crafted for organizers on volunteer best practices, the Committee is creating jump judge training videos, a project spearheaded by committee member Irene Doo with the support of a grant from the USEA. Doo has been coordinating, editing, and producing these videos, which will be available for all USEA events and volunteers as a free online resource. The Volunteer Committee also recently released a short two-minute survey to gauge interest on a number of possible volunteer educational opportunities. Kibbie describes some of the potential ideas the Committee has been discussing. Click here to take the survey!
Jackie Smith of Stone Gate Farm has been a supporter of the Volunteer Incentive Program since its inception and comes on the show to talk about how organizers can benefit from using the Eventing Volunteers app. As an active competitor, licensed official, ICP certified instructor, and show organizer, Smith has her hands full. The Eventing Volunteers app helps her organizer all her volunteers for her many recognized and unrecognized events in one place and makes it easy to communicate with her volunteers. She’s also attracted new volunteers to her events, just because her events use the app!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.