On May 1, 2022, Max Corcoran was appointed as the Eventing Elite Program and Team Facilitator. In her role, Corcoran will support the areas of communication, logistics, and management of the teams for the Eventing Programs to deliver sustained success at World and Olympic Games level. As the Facilitator, she will work closely with the interim Chef d’Equipe/Team Manager, Bobby Costello, and eventing staff to build solid lines of communication with athletes, grooms, owners, coaches, veterinarians, and all stakeholders linked to the athletes and develop the structures around the Elite Program and senior U.S. Eventing Team.
What happens to a dream deferred? Steve and Vicki Sukup wouldn’t know, because frankly, that’s not their style. Steve is the president and CEO of family-owned Sukup Manufacturing, and also happens to be the co-owner of another Iowan delight—Mo Donegal, the Belmont Stakes winner who was dressed in white carnations earlier this month. Steve and his wife Vicki also have another equine connection who is pretty well known in the eventing world: Elisa Wallace.
Anyone who has ever gone from driving a runaround to taking the wheel of a Ferrari can testify that that there are cars—and then, there are cars. Ben Noonan had a similar epiphany on horseback when he went from riding a trail horse over cross-country fences to riding an eventer. “I didn’t really understand why everyone liked eventing so much,” said Ben, now 18 and on the cusp of a professional career, “until I was riding an event horse.”
Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.
As we honor and recognize the federal Juneteenth holiday, it is an important time to reflect on diversity, equity, and inclusion: where we have been and where the eventing community can continue to grow. One organization that has been leading the way was established in 2020 by a passionate group of eventers, Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Focusing on the fact that the United States is becoming increasingly more diverse but seeing a lack of equivalent representation or recognition of Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) within equestrian sport, the group endeavored to not only push for growth and change, but to also work towards making sure that BIPOC equestrians were able to see allies within eventing and other equestrian sports. The leaders of SEE have made tremendous strides in the past two years. As they look to the future, there is an incredible amount of work still to be done.
I've been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. I didn't play sports in high school or college, but at the age of 37, I did finally get the chance to take on some of the best riders in the Rocky Mountain region in the equestrian sport of eventing because of the Arabian racehorse AA Two Face (“Dos”) that I used to announce and now ride. I introduced him in this column last month.
I came into eventing by a circuitous route. Like many young girls, I was “horse mad” as they say back in my home country, England. As a teen in the 1980s, I failed to convince my parents that buying a pony was a good idea. Instead, I had to be content with following the likes of Lucinda Prior Palmer (now Green), Ginny Holgate (now Leng), and Richard Meade, on television, as they braved the elements and the ginormous fences of Badminton and Burghley. In time, I grew up, I emigrated to Northern California and I forgot all about eventing.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) announcement in May 2021 that anyone who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a face covering/mask or physically distancing, changes were made to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan accordingly. By definition, an individual is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer, Moderna, etc.), or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
Coming back to the tack after an injury is challenging for any rider, but pushing yourself to head back to the start box in a championship setting following a serious concussion and a year out of the saddle definitely adds a whole new level of challenge to the mix. For Grace Montgomery, this is the challenge she had to overcome when loading up her gear and her 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Wonder (Farfelu de Muze x Cherokee Bella m2s) in the trailer to represent her college Auburn University at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of a 500-entry event at Virginia International Horse Trials, co-organizer Angela Bowles took time to celebrate and reflect on the lengthy and impactful career of her longtime partner, Novelle. After 14 years eventing, Novelle has been officially retired from competition.
I’m not one for the spotlight. As the voice of the Association, you don’t need to know my personal views, political, eventing, or otherwise. So despite my byline appearing on thousands of articles on the USEA website and magazine, this is probably only the second time I’m writing about myself (the first was about my love for lessons, and reading it now makes me laugh as I am still 100% addicted). But as I am now just a USEA member I thought I would share a bit of my journey to add to our member spotlight series, Now on Course.