It was only recently that John Bandrofchak became involved in the eventing community - seven years, in fact. It all began when he decided he wanted to begin working with animals. After finding his way to a local equine therapy farm, his passion for horses and volunteering grew.
Angie Leihy rode horses a bit as a child in Ohio and moved to Maryland in 1986, but it wasn’t until after 2003 that her passion for horses really grew. She took riding lessons at Willowbend Farm (WB) in Upper Marlboro as her young daughter rode there for years on their equitation team in the NCEL.
“They are the Best. Volunteers. Ever,” said Bonnie Kibbie, volunteer coordinator for Plantation Field International, the event that’s often referred to as the "Best. Event. Ever." Plantation Field International is on September 18-22 in Unionville, Pennsylvania and this year, the event has a total of 218 competitors but will see even more volunteers.
From the moment Paige Ervin’s parents took her for a pony ride at Wheaton Park Stables when she was five, horses were all that she could think about. For Ervin, she was hooked right then and there. After she was enrolled in lessons at the Potomac Horse Center, her passion for horses was solidified.
During the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, Volunteer Committee Chair Bonnie Kibbie presented to the group assembled at the Volunteer Open Forum. She began by providing a report on the health of the Volunteer Incentive Program, including several statistics about usage by both events and volunteers.
For Todd Killalea, horses were not always a way of life. Growing up in San Diego, he spent most of his time on the water, fishing, surfing, and participating in any other water sport he could find. It wasn’t until later when his oldest daughter, Delaney, took a liking to horses at the age of three that he was introduced to the horse world.
Summer is a season full of sunshine, sunscreen, and sweat. Amidst the summer heat, eventing volunteers come together to work hard, have fun, and give back to the sport of three-day eventing. In a sport that’s almost always fully outdoors, volunteers, competitors, and event officials all work outside - rain or shine.
This year’s volunteer of the month, Melissa Rundt, wasn’t always involved in the horse community. She didn’t grow up around horses or even ride as a child. It wasn’t until her son was diagnosed with a mild form of Tourette syndrome at 8 years of age that she decided to start him in therapeutic riding lessons to help with some of his symptoms.
Jessie Quinlan hasn’t always been involved in the eventing community. She grew up a typical horse-obsessed girl and was always asking her parents for riding lessons no matter what special occasion it was. Birthdays? Riding lessons. Christmas presents? Riding lessons. Any way Quinlan could find a way to get back on the horse as a little girl she would.
As of May 13, 2019, a total of 14,461 volunteer hours have already been recorded for 2019. Only five months into the year and over 1,000 volunteers and 110 events have used EventingVolunteers.com. As the 2019 winter and spring season reaches an end, the volunteer leaderboards have several familiar names on top.
Every year thousands and thousands of people converge on the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of April to witness what is the biggest event every year in North America. The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event brings together people from all walks of life to experience Eventing at the highest level.