Joan Mayfield has been a part of the eventing community for longer than the majority of the USEA’s current members have been alive. While she started taking “up-down” lessons as a teenager, she didn’t get her first horse until she graduated from college.
Volunteer Committee member Irene Doo joins us on the USEA Podcast this week to discuss the jump judge instructional videos that were released last fall, and Marcia Kulak is back with a segment on planning your upcoming season.
Suzanne Adams grew up as a self-proclaimed barn rat. While her passion for horses may have been ill-advised by her parents, Adams was not discouraged. She was persistent and would find horses in backyard barns that weren’t being ridden and ask the owners to work for them in exchange for riding.
Brenda Jarrell grew up like most other young girls and she wanted one thing: a pony. Unfortunately for her, a pony was out of the cards and she got a fish instead. It wasn’t long though before she began saving up for riding lessons - they were $17. After that, Jarrell was hooked. Fast forward a few years and now Jarrell is one of the most important members of the Area I and USEA community and more than deserving of this month’s Volunteer of the Month nomination.
While Diane Bird was always involved with horses, Art Bird didn’t quite know what he was getting himself into when her married her. Now, this dynamic duo is one of the most active in the sport when it comes to volunteering and both Diane and Art are sitting in the top five on the USEA Volunteer of the Year Leaderboard.
For Tayler Owen, horses were always a part of life. Owen is Texas-born-and-raised and she began riding at the age of six under the guidance of a very special trainer, Alyce Hinkle. Hinkle was very active in the eventing community and is a very well-known figure in Area V. She not only was involved in coaching the next generation, but she also spearheaded the Area V Young Rider program for many years.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our sport because if we had to pay every person that’s needed to run an event, the entry fee would be up to $2,000 a horse.” Christina Gray explained. “It’s astronomical the number of volunteers that are needed to do this sport but it’s what makes the sport so great.” A show secretary extraordinaire and a newly minted FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) volunteer, Gray has been on both sides of the volunteer curtain.
The FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina have brought together over 800 equestrian athletes and 860 horses from 71 different countries to compete in eight different disciplines in the only event of its kind in the world. The volunteers it requires to stage an event like the WEG are numbered in the thousands, with hundreds of different roles that many equestrians don’t typically think of when they think of horse show volunteers.
Kristin Hogan was not always involved in the horse world and she did not grow up around horses either. In fact, she played tennis and practiced law until her two daughters came along. It was these two girls, Maddie and Mallory, who inspired Kristin to become more involved in the horse community.
Jump judging is a position that enables volunteers to watch cross-country firsthand from the comfort of their seat. The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program Committee has created six educational volunteer videos on jump judging.
As of August 22, 2018, there are 19,800 hours recorded by 1,577 volunteers across the country at EventingVolunteers.com. Eventers can be strong, hardworking athletes, but the support behind the sport is just as hardworking if not ‘harder-working.’ Of those 1,577 volunteers, USEA Area II volunteers are the ones on top of every leaderboard.