USEA Podcast Channel

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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Insights from the Eventing 25 Winter Training Sessions

Listen in to this week's USEA Podcast to hear from Amanda Beale Clement, Sophie Click, and Jacob Fletcher, all members of the USEF Eventing 25 Program List who attended the winter training sessions in Ocala, Florida, January 8-11. 

First up is Amanda Beale Clement, who attended the training sessions with Canny Calypso, an 8-year-old Westphalian/Trakehner gelding. Normally based at her mother Susie Beale's Cairn O'Mount Stables South in Aiken during the winter, Amanda is currently in Tampa, Florida for some intensive dressage training with her grandfather, Jeremey Beale. Amanda discusses what she was looking to get out of the sessions, her training philosophy, how she’s developed as a rider, the season ahead, and her long-term goals for the future.

Next, we hear from Washington state native Sophie Click who is currently based out of Bridle Creek in Aiken with Lillian Heard. Sophie brought two horses with her from Washington; the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Rising, and the 15-year-old Paint gelding, Hot Wheels. She talks about her expectations for the training sessions, what specific aspects she worked on, how she’s planning to implement the tools she picked up at the sessions, and her plans for the 2018 show season.

Finally, three-time Eventing 25 Training List member Jacob Fletcher of North Little Rock, Arkansas returns to the show to share what he planned to focus on in the training sessions with his two horses, 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Van Gough, and 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Atlantic Domino. Jacob shares what he worked on with each horse in the sessions, what it’s like to work with USEF Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law, his biggest takeaways from the sessions, and his priorities moving forward.

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Erin Sylvester: 2017 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant Winner

Get to know Erin Sylvester, winner of the 2017 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant. Sylvester joins us on the program this week to talk about her plans for the upcoming season, both for her upper level partners Mettraise, Paddy the Caddy, and Campground, as well as her 4- and 5-year-old youngsters. She also discusses her plans for how she’ll put the grant money to good use, her previous experience overseas with her longtime partner No Boundaries, and what she looks for in an eventing prospect. Plus, get a tip from Sylvester on how to make the most of this winter season with your horse!

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21-Year-Old Madeline Backus Receives $45,000 Wilton Fair Grant

The USEA Foundation offers several different grants and scholarships, all designed to assist event riders in reaching their goals. Grant funds are designed to be used for coaching, training, and competing in the pursuit of advancing skills of horse and rider, some with the ultimate goal of representing the United States in international competition. USEA Chief Development Officer Jo Whitehouse joins us on the program this week to describe the different grants and explain the important work that is accomplished by the Foundation.

New this year is the Wilton Fair Grant. David and Cheryl Lenaburg made a very generous donation of one million dollars in memory of their great event horse Wilton Fair, and the fund allows for up to $100,000 each year to be awarded for a variety of educational opportunities for riders 29 and under who have not yet ridden for a senior team.

This year, Madeline Backus was the recipient of both the $10,000 Rebecca Broussard National Developing Rider Grant as well as $45,000 for the Wilton Fair Grant. Get to know about this talented 21-year-old rider, her string of horses, and her plans for 2018.

In the spirit of the season, we hope you will consider making a donation to the USEA Foundation before the new tax laws go into effect in 2018! Your gift will go a long way towards supporting the efforts of the Foundation as they work to make improvements within our sport and support riders as they strive to reach their goals. 

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2017 #USEAConvention Roundup

USEA CEO Rob Burk joins us on the program this week to share highlights from the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, which took place in Long Beach, California, December 6-10. This year's Convention was jam-packed with content that was split into three tracks: Events, Eventers, and Equine, each of which offered educational sessions and open forums for attendees to participate in. Over 360 members attended this year's Convention, and nearly all of those attendees came to both the Annual Meeting of Members and the Year End Awards Ceremony. There were presentations by Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings, USEF High Performance Director Erik Duvander, and Tryon International Equestrian Center among many others. Listen in to learn more!

Next year's USEA Annual Meeting and Convention will take place in New Orleans, December 5-9, 2018. 

For more information about the different sessions, check out the USEA's coverage of the Convention.

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