Since the USEA lifted the COVID-19 suspension on June 1, 2020, there have been 11 recognized events that have taken place across the country. Events such as Plantation Field, Waredaca, and Full Gallop Farm have been the pioneers for adapting to the new normal of eventing. Setting the standard high, these events have diligently followed the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan and have shown everyone how an event can run safely and smoothly. The success of these events is due largely in part to having strong volunteers.
Plantation Field Horse Trials was one of the first events back out of the gate when the competition suspension was lifted at the beginning of the month, and that meant they were the guinea pigs for seeing what the new USEF COVID-19 Action Plan looked like in practice.
“Everyone who is a student of mine has to go volunteer,” said veteran five-star rider Jane Sleeper. Sleeper, who has made over 10 trips to the Kentucky Three-Day Event and completed Burghley in 2007, is particularly proud of her working student program at Jane Sleeper Eventing.
Sue Funkey of Angels Camp, California, is the epitome of what it means to be a volunteer. She is dedicated, constantly gives back to the sport, and shows up time and time again no matter the conditions to help. We are proud and honored to feature her as this month’s Volunteer of the Month as we highlight all the many ways she contributes to the sport.
There are countless responsibilities in putting together an event, but one important responsibility is to organize reliable volunteers that know the duties assigned to their position – and this is where the USEA Volunteer Videos can help.
This month’s Volunteer of the Month, Mary Quarles, found eventing along with many other Americans at the 1996 Athens Olympics. While she had been involved in horses for quite some time, it was the taste of volunteering and the taste of the sport that she got in Atlanta that paved the way for Quarles and her involvement in the sport today.
Volunteers by definition do not need an HR department to support them. The trouble is that in the world we are in - faster and faster, less loyalty, little spare time - volunteers are increasingly difficult to find.
The USEA Volunteer Committee is pleased to announce a new Volunteer Medal Program has been added to the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods (VIP) starting this year. The Volunteer Medal Program will recognize the volunteers who consistently volunteer year after year.
When Chris Quinn was 13 years old, she told her parents she wanted riding lessons at a barn in a nearby town. Horses were unknown to her family as no one else in her family had anything to do with them, but with her persistence, they agreed to pay for them. There was, however, a catch.
In 1984, the U.S. Eventing team won the gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games, and from that moment on Diane Bird and her husband Art Bird were hooked. Two years later they watched top riders compete at Chesterland Horse Trials and shortly after that, their first volunteer opportunity opened at a local show in New Jersey in 1988. They have been volunteering ever since.
Horses have always been in Scarlett Schall’s blood. Her mom and dad ran a world-renowned Quarter Horse breeding program in southern Maryland and Schall was on a horse before she could walk. Growing up, she was immersed in all disciplines as her parents bred the horses that she and her siblings would ride.