It has been 35 years since a female rider last earned the title of USEA Rider of the Year – a fact that was the topic of discussion for the panel of Karen O’Connor, Nina Gardner, Lynn Symansky, Jonathan Holling, and Sam Watson at the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
Gardner, O’Connor, and Symansky discussed how the cultural attitude towards women during their generation, both in general and in equestrian sport, has changed over the decades. While equality has certainly improved over the generations, the panel discussed ways in which the Rider of the Year award can be brought to a level playing field.
The Rider of the Year award is a quantitative award, meaning that the riders with the most starts is at an advantage over a rider with fewer starts per year. The panel discussed different ways in which the award might be restructured to level the playing field amidst discussion of other topics ranging from owners to competing as a mother.
About the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention
The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, December 12-15, 2019. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.