For Katie Bystrom, becoming an equestrian was destiny. “A love of horses is in the DNA of the females in our family,” Bystrom shared. Her mom grew up riding with her grandmother on the family farm in Indiana and eventually, Bystrom would follow in the same path, pursuing her love of horses at a young age out on the trails with her mom.
Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Calling all eventing lovers! The team behind the MARS Great Meadow International and the mandatory outing for the U.S. FEI Eventing World Championships team in The Plains, Virginia are seeking to finalize their volunteer roster prior to the kickoff of the event this Wednesday, August 24, 2022. From cross-country jump judges to shuttle drivers, there is a position for all skill levels! As an added incentive this year, all volunteers will be given a voucher that can be used for schooling on Tuesday, August 30th from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Are you interested in getting a front-row seat at the biggest event of the year? Have dreams of horses in the mountains of Montana been galloping through your head? Sign up to volunteer at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC)! Volunteer positions are open to everyone, including competitors, trainers, owners, friends, and family. The 2022 AEC will take place Aug. 30 - Sept. 4 at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana.
Joan Harper is a committed rider, eventing volunteer, and course decorator that has been in love with horses since she was a child. She started out trail riding for fun before she’d even made it to grade school and was serious about horses by high school. However, while participating in a few unrecognized events, it wasn’t until her 30’s that she was introduced to the sport of eventing when her daughter joined the local Pony Club. From there, she started learning all she could; stating, “I tell people that at 50, I started my second childhood with eventing.
The horse show dad is a common sight in the equine community. Their portrait is a familiar one: cellphone hip holster, ball cap, boat shoes that should never see the light of day around a horse but somehow remain unscathed, and a bag of carrots protruding from a pant pocket. For some of us, the horse girl phase never wore out and neither did our dads, but for Amanda Ang that sentiment goes the extra (few hundred) miles every April when she and her father John road trip from Florida to Kentucky for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
It takes over 2,500 volunteers to help run the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, but there are two volunteers who have volunteered every year since 1995: Ron and Ellen Sadler. From assisting at the horse inspections to managing awards, they have helped make the event possible for many years. It’s a guarantee that you’ll see them on Sunday handing out ribbons and managing the group of volunteers for awards.
For Janice Holmes, volunteering is only one of the many hats she has donned over her life-long career in the equestrian industry. From a young age, she knew her purpose was in the equine industry. A rider from the age of 8, Holmes started her profession as a hunter trainer in the early part of her riding career but didn’t find the sport of eventing until a chance adventure with a friend when she was in her thirties.
Kimberlee Meeks had just returned from a busy weekend volunteering at the Carolina Horse Park when she sat down to share her volunteering journey with the USEA. “I’ve been around eventing since the ’70s,” she shared. “We had an event at our farm, the Mars Hill Horse Trials, which the last year we had it was 1980. My uncle used to build the cross-country courses so I have been around the sport for a long, long time.”
The official management system of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) is www.eventingvolunteers.com and it has recorded a total of 8,105 volunteers and 194,193 volunteer hours since December 1, 2016. With the growing popularity and increase in participation, the USEA would like to remind VIP participants of the rules, eligibility, and incentives.