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.
Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.
Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce a new membership category, the “Digital Membership,” which will be available to qualified participants of the Volunteer Incentive Program in 2023. This new membership will serve as a thank you to the loyal volunteers in our sport for their dedication to supporting events around the country throughout the year.
If we’re lucky, we will all have that one “horse of a lifetime” that makes us the riders we are; collects blue ribbons left and right; launches our careers; and teaches us more than we could ever imagine. With Perseverance (aka Percy) was that horse for Lauren Nethery. Percy and Nethery ascended the levels together through the top of the sport in the early 2000s, and this success was critical to Nethery’s ability to hang her own shingle as a trainer and coach. When Percy retired from upper-level competition in 2010, not chasing the big events every season meant that Nethery had a lot more time to begin giving back to the sport that she loves so dearly. She returned to Kentucky as a volunteer, occupying a variety of roles in the myriad divisions that depend on volunteers to operate: decorations, awards, grooming, and shuttles to name a few. Nethery finally settled on the vet box as her primary area of focus.
For Katie Bystrom, becoming an equestrian was destiny. “A love of horses is in the DNA of the females in our family,” Bystrom shared. Her mom grew up riding with her grandmother on the family farm in Indiana and eventually, Bystrom would follow in the same path, pursuing her love of horses at a young age out on the trails with her mom.
Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Calling all eventing lovers! The team behind the MARS Great Meadow International and the mandatory outing for the U.S. FEI Eventing World Championships team in The Plains, Virginia are seeking to finalize their volunteer roster prior to the kickoff of the event this Wednesday, August 24, 2022. From cross-country jump judges to shuttle drivers, there is a position for all skill levels! As an added incentive this year, all volunteers will be given a voucher that can be used for schooling on Tuesday, August 30th from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Are you interested in getting a front-row seat at the biggest event of the year? Have dreams of horses in the mountains of Montana been galloping through your head? Sign up to volunteer at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC)! Volunteer positions are open to everyone, including competitors, trainers, owners, friends, and family. The 2022 AEC will take place Aug. 30 - Sept. 4 at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana.
Joan Harper is a committed rider, eventing volunteer, and course decorator that has been in love with horses since she was a child. She started out trail riding for fun before she’d even made it to grade school and was serious about horses by high school. However, while participating in a few unrecognized events, it wasn’t until her 30’s that she was introduced to the sport of eventing when her daughter joined the local Pony Club. From there, she started learning all she could; stating, “I tell people that at 50, I started my second childhood with eventing.
The horse show dad is a common sight in the equine community. Their portrait is a familiar one: cellphone hip holster, ball cap, boat shoes that should never see the light of day around a horse but somehow remain unscathed, and a bag of carrots protruding from a pant pocket. For some of us, the horse girl phase never wore out and neither did our dads, but for Amanda Ang that sentiment goes the extra (few hundred) miles every April when she and her father John road trip from Florida to Kentucky for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.