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.
December’s Volunteer of the Month, Leah Fleming, did not grow up around horses. Nor did she ride or even know what the sport of eventing was prior to her 12-year-old niece, Ashlee, coming to live with her. It was when Ashlee’s friend’s younger sister began riding at a local barn that her mom thought Ashlee might like to come out one day to see what it was like.
As 2019 comes to an end, it’s important to keep in mind the ones that made this competition year possible – the eventing volunteers. Since 2015, the USEA has recognized the tireless efforts of volunteers through the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP).
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.