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Thu, 2017-12-07 21:28

Catch Up with the First Day of the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention

Max Corcoran shares her tips for making good horse care decisions.

Thursday kicked off the first day of the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention with five open sessions and a multitude of closed committee meetings at the Westin in Long Beach, Calif. For USEA members who weren’t able to attend the Convention in person, catch the livestream, or just want to reread the highlights of several of the talks of the day – the USEA sat in on many of the sessions.

Top 10 Tips from Max Corcoran’s “Making Good Decisions”

  • “The horses have to come first. Always, always, always.”
  • Focus on basics first and move on to more complicated topics from there.
  • Horses are flight animals, and their first instinct will always be to run.
  • Know when to call it a day. When it’s not going right, it’s better to go home and fix the gap in your education and try again another day.
  • “If you don’t slow it down, your horse is going to do it for you.”
  • Make sure you know the rules, especially because they’re always changing.
  • Don’t try to do anything new at at a show. For example, try ice boots for the first time at home!
  • Always choose the maximum personal protection equipment. Never compromise safety for price.
  • “Horses want two things. They want to stay alive and they want to eat.”
  • Always wear a belt. It looks polished and neat, and you’ll never be without something to catch a horse with!

Intercollegiate Open Forum Shares Success of Program’s Second Official Year

Leslie Threlkeld, chair of the Intercollegiate Eventing Committee, provided an update on the program, which is now in its second official year with the USEA. There are now over 200 collegiate members registered with the USEA and 33 colleges and universities are registered as Eventing Affiliates. There were 20 Intercollegiate Team Challenges in 2017, including the second annual 2017 USEA Intercollegiate Championship, which took place at the Virginia Horse Trials over Memorial Day weekend.

There is a strong presence of affiliated colleges and universities in Areas II, III, and VIII, with fewer affiliates in Areas I, IV, V, VI, and VII, with no affiliates in Areas IX and X. The committee’s goal in the future is to increase affiliates in these areas.

The Committee has been discussing the potential of a modification to the coefficient system based on the concern that a 1.1 coefficient for Beginner Novice is appropriate. Threlkeld requested feedback from the audience on the idea of either changing Beginner Novice coefficient to 1 and leaving the Novice coefficient at 1, or changing Beginner Novice coefficient to 1 and the Novice coefficient to .95. A member of the audience suggested reaching out to students and faculty members of registered affiliate schools for their feedback.

Professional Horseman’s Council Discusses Footing Study, Bridging the Gap Between Riders and Stewards

Tamie Smith began the Professional Horseman’s Council (PHC) meeting by introducing Matt Brown, who will succeed her as the Chair of the PHC for 2018-2020. Discussion then turned to the footing study, which was examining the effectiveness of tools used to help measure consistency and depth. Jonathan Holling posed the question of whether or not the PHC should look into funding additional research or if the PHC itself could conduct some initial tests to determine whether or not funding additional research would be useful. Additional discussion followed about the tool’s usefulness on different types of footing, including terrain and dirt. Attendees at the meeting were in agreement that riders need to work in cooperation with organizers to make changes and improvements, because “our horses aren’t going to stay sound if they’re not competing on the best footing we can give them.”

Riders then engaged in discussion about how they can volunteer and give back to the sport in a way that is both meaningful and also practical given the demands on their time, particularly at events.

Finally, the group turned to the topic of FEI stewarding. There has been concern about the incorrect enforcement of rules by FEI Steward, especially in the show jumping warm up. Marilyn Payne’s suggested riders contact Janis Linnan, she need to notified of what’s going on so that other stewards can be properly educated. Evaluation forms are also an excellent tool for notifying USEF that there is an issue.

    Finding the Right Recipe in the USEF Eventing High Performance Meeting

    Joanie Morris (the USEF Managing Director of Eventing) started the open session of the USEF Eventing High Performance Meeting by introducing the new U.S. Performance Director for evening, Erik Duvander. Duvander then introduced himself and said what a “great honor and huge challenge” this new position is. Duvander spent the last several weeks traveling around the country meeting all of the training listed riders and seeing how their programs work, and he said that it was “so great how honest and open everyone has been.” He is now working to develop a program that will be focused on individual programs, but creating a high performance umbrella to support them. He concluded his presentation by saying he hopes to “find the right recipe to get American riders having success at the highest level.”

    Following Duvander’s presentation Morris went into a few points of business that are important for U.S. riders to consider.

    • Anti-Doping – the FEI has hired a new company and human drug testing will be increasing. The drug testers recently came to the Ocala Jockey Club CIC which is very unusual because in the past they only came to Championships and the Kentucky Three-Day Event. Morris emphasized that if you take anything at all to check the Global DRO website or app to make sure it is okay – eventers are not treated any differently than runners.
    • FEI Rule Changes – the transfer of data is going to be a complicated process with the change of the stars so Morris asked for everyone’s patience.
    • Remember that the “50 penalty rule” is not a national rule – you can ask the jump judge at a national event if you went through the flags. The FEI has a subcommittee looking into rewriting it however.  
    • The FEI entry process – Morris asks for all riders to just do it. “I know it is a pain, but just do it,” she said.
    • The 2018 World Equestrian Games – The U.S has a home advantage, but there is also a home disadvantage. Will Connell wants to be prepared, so there is no performance distractions for the U.S. Team. More will be covered in Saturday’s WEG session.
    • Event evaluations – Morris reminded the attendees to use the feedback process “does anyone ever send one in? Can you help us make the events the best they can possibly be? What will make you do it?”

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    About the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention

    The USEA Annual Meeting and Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The convention is made possible through the support of sponsors: Adequan, Devoucoux, Nutrena, Charles Owen, SmartPak, Rebecca Farm, Mountain Horse, Merck Animal Health, Standlee Hay, Auburn Laboratories, Eventing Training Online, DG Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Point Two, Professional’s Choice, Bit of Britain, Staples Inc., World Equestrian Brands, Gallops Saddlery, RevitaVet, CWD, H.E. Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, and Parker Equine Insurance.

    Learn more about the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention by visiting the Convention page on the USEA website.

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