Feb 07, 2013

Adult Riders Program Coordinators Reports

Join the Adult Riders Program and enjoy all the fun and educational activities this dynamic group has to offer. Check out what each Area’s Adult Riders were up to in 2012, plus what is in store for 2013. Thanks to Adult Riders Chair Cindy DePorter for her dedication to the program and assistance in compiling this report.

Area I, AR Coordinator: Mary Ann Fernandez
Area I has approximately 350 AR Memberships. The AR program supported three clinics in 2012 in addition to providing support at the GMHA three-day event. About 40 members participated at the Area I Team competitions at Town Hill, and the program has garnered more participation in adult challenges, bringing AR riders together as friends.

Area II, AR Coordinator: Donna Bottner
Area II Adult Riders has a healthy membership with 405 program participants. We enjoyed about 15 social activities that included cookouts, suppers, and stall meet-ups at various horse trials. A formal social took place at the Chronicle of the Horse Eastern Adult Team Challenge (ATC). Two Preliminary teams, three Training teams, five Novice teams, and two Beginner Novice Teams participated at the ATC. There is also an Area II AR Facebook page. We have a chat list that is extremely active and very vocal. We literally talk about everything that you can think of horse related. We have a large email distribution list that information is shared through. Members stable next to each other at horse trials by noting it on their entry forms.

The program organizes clinics with professionals such as Eric Smiley and Phillip Dutton, but a Training Three-Day is the main educational activity with the following opportunities available to AR in 2012:

i. Horse Inspection Training: Natalie Hollis Melissa Hunsberger

ii. Dressage Ride a Test (what the judge sees): Sue Smithson

iii. Steeplechase Training and Roads and Tracks Training: Stephen Bradley and Tremaine Cooper

iv. Cross-Country Course Walks: Steven Bradley, Tremaine Cooper, and Valerie Vizzcarando

v. Ten Minute and Vet Box Training: Dr. Julie Augustine

vi. Caring for your Horse in the Vet Box: Max Corcoran

vii. Show Jumping Walks: Phyllis Dawson and Steuart Pittman

Area II Adult Riders volunteer at all the horse trials in the Area, which is approximately 50 events. There is also some level of Adult Rider that competes in every competition in Area II from Beginner Novice to Intermediate. Area II Adult Riders sit on the Area council and are also organizers, volunteer coordinators, secretaries of competitions, and national level as committee members. Two Cindy Burge ICP Scholarships are also available annually through the Adult Riders Program.

Area III, AR Coordinator: Robin Bass
Two hundred and fifty Adult Riders participated in the program in Area III. In 2012 Leslie Law and Andrew Harbison taught clinics in January at Rocking Horse Farm; this winter getaway allows a lot of Adult Riders to escape to sunny Florida and also stay for the first event at Rocking Horse the following week. At each event in the Area, the AR program gives a low score award to the Adult Rider member who has the lowest final score in any division. Some events provide prizes like schooling or a show entry. Area III continues to support ICP candidates and have had an increase in numbers of Assessment funds provided by the program. Many people are also taking advantage of the knowledge transfer with the email distribution including sales, assistance needed, homes for various animals, and activity broadcasts.

Area IV, AR Coordinator: Kathy Kerns
Area IV is a large area encompassing much of the Upper Midwest. The Area stretches from the Canadian border to the Boot Heel of Missouri and reaches from Eastern Illinois through to Western Kansas. Keeping AR in touch with each other is always a challenge.

Our purpose is to provide fun, education, and recognition to our AR members in our Area. To that end, we hold receptions at most of the horse trials in our area for AR and friends as a way to relax and meet people. We hosted a “New to Eventing” clinic this year and supported AR who participated in the July Young Riders Clinic.

In 2012, Area IV hosted the Chronicle of the Horse Central ATC. Eleven teams participated and many prizes and ribbons were awarded, so nobody went home without something to show for their participation. We also sent embroidered towels and ear bonnets along with our Area IV AR competing in the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships, presented by Bit of Britain.

Speaking of awards, we always have a “Low Score Award” ribbon at every Horse Trials for the AR with the lowest overall score, regardless of actual placing in a division. Pictures, when we have them, are placed on our Area website, and all AR competing in the Area IV Championships received horse treats, an embroidered towel, and a few other things, too.

Communication is kept up through regular emails from the Coordinator to keep members posted on what is happening with the program and to ask for input, too.

Area V, AR Coordinator: Martha Bader
Area V AR has increased its membership approximately 20 percent over 2011 figures, with 179 participants in 2011 and 222 in 2012. In addition to the two ICP Cindy Burge Grants, awarded to Heather Morris and Holly Flint in 2012, the AR sponsored three clinics last year. The January clinic at Pine Hill had 12 riders total, though only two were AR members. In March, Mary D’Arcy (ICP Level IV) taught a clinic at Willow Draw with 16 total riders, all of whom were AR. The Summer Camp at Meadowcreek Park with Heather Morris hosted 16 total riders, with only one not being an AR. Area V has plenty of social activities, including AR Socials at nine different horse trials, an active Facebook page, a silent auction that raised over $1,200 for AR in 2012 (increased from $800 in 2011), and an AR Dinner at the Texas Rose Horse Park Horse Trials, where 84 participants enjoyed this event over 60 from 2011.

The Area V AR Program has increased connectivity in the community through announcements regarding horses, tack, and other items for sale, highlighted AR vendors at horse trials, and supporting the Young Riders Fundraiser. Regular e-mail updates and newsletters with news and happenings regarding people, horses, and activities have increased the sense of community for AR, as do the socials, team challenges, dinners, and special year-end awards. If an AR has an unscheduled dismount at a horse trials, a light-hearted gift of Monkey Butt Powder is given at the year-end banquet.

Area VI, AR Coordinator: Dawns Robbins
The Area VI AR Program’s 2012 goals were to continue building the program, add new members, provide clinics, partner with other organizations to provide educational opportunities, and honor and otherwise bring attention to our many hard-working and skilled adult riders. In 2012, we made significant strides toward these goals.We increased our membership from 170 to more than 210 (a growth of about 25 percent), and we offered two AR Show Championships throughout the year, allowing AR to compete with each other for the best score and then to receive great prizes (embroidered sheets and bridles) for their efforts.We offered numerous successful clinics and camps. These included Clayton Fredericks at Galway in February, a Northern California AR Camp with Yves Sauvignon and Matthew Brown at Camelot Equestrian Park and a new Southern California AR Camp with Bunnie Sexton and Valerie Owen at Shepherd Ranch. Our clinics and camps were full or over-booked in 2012.We partnered with The Event Derby® to provide significantly discounted clinic and derby entry fees for AR Program members. The four clinics/derbies were held throughout Southern California.

We participated in the Chronicle of the Horse Western ATC held at Aspen Horse Trials (Yelm, Washington) in September. Area VI sent teams and supported them with team gear and partial travel expenses. We honored our AR with special awards at the Galway International Horse Trials Training Three-Day held in November of 2012 (Best Conditioned and Best Turnout). Jennifer Wooten partnered with us to organize these awards and sponsors provide great prizes including a six-month supply of supplements, breeches, and cross-country saddle pads.We supported the Area VI Championships with an AR dinner and reception with talk by Abigail Lufkin, Sports Psychologist. We also organized a senior competition and awards for our over age 50 riders, and we organized the technical awards for cross-country riding and provided the prizes.

We continue to build our email database (now over 300 adult riders and trainers) and sent out newsletters throughout the year, along with building a new Facebook page. We initiated two new AR year-end awards – Adult Rider of the Year and the Adult Rider Sportsmanship Award. We also had a lot of fun!

Area VII, AR Coordinator: John Meriwether
Adult Riders is a catalyst in Area VII, holding clinics, mobilizing volunteers (AR logged over 2,000 volunteer hours and many more hours went unlogged), and raising funds for worthy causes. We provide a gateway for non-eventers and new eventers to enjoy our sport.

Area VII has 275 AR memberships and hosts a number of educational and social activities. In 2012 we sponsored six clinics with Buck Davidson, Leslie Law, Eric Smiley, Scott Keach, and Allison Springer. We also held an AR Camp over three days with over 45 riders and four instructors, including Leslie Law, Lesley Grant-Law, Sandra Donnelly, and Jean Moyer. We have two mainfundraising projects (AR Calendar, Spring Fling Derby) to subsidize our clinics, camp, and prizes so that we can keep our prices down while providing top flight instruction and training experiences. We are trying to develop a “Walk the Course with a Professional” for adult riders at one or two events a year. We hosted the 2012 Chronicle of the Horse Western ATC with 17 teams participating.

We encourage teamwork and team participation. By numbers, our biggest team competition is the Meriwether Saddlery AR Team Series (A.R.T.S.). In 2012 there were seven A.R.T.S. teams with approximately ten random riders riding together on the same team for an entire year. At each Area VII event, the best three scores on each team are added to the team’s year-to-date score. At the end of the year, we factor in points for volunteer hours worked and money donated to AR supported causes to determine the winning teams. Prizes go to the top three teams. This coming year, all teams will receive ribbons.

We sent three teams to British Columbia for the Pacific Northwest Canadian/American Team Challenge. Each year the Can/Ams alternate between a U.S. and a Canadian event with teams from Intermediate to Beginning Novice. In addition to the riding portion of the Can/Ams, we hold Dismounted Games for the Golden Boot Trophy which passes from nation to nation each year. Winning team members sign a “Golden Scroll” (a bright yellow stable bandage) that lives inside the boot.

Almost all of Area VII events include their own team competition and we determine our year-end individual AR Awards based on those results rather than individual scores.

We also recognize individual achievements, some of which are for good performance and others a little more dubious but no less treasured. Almost every event has an AR social gathering at our AR tent of some sort, and we usually have some sort of award to go with them like the So-Far, So-Good awards to the top individual in each level after cross-country. Another series of awards are for First Achievements. We created the Knotted Knickers Award for First Ever Intermediate Completion which we awarded to Maggie Rikard this year. The award was a pair of bright red XXXL bikini bottoms because Maggie had had some colorful ways to describe her nervousness about riding Intermediate for the first time.

We sponsored the first Virtual 50 & Over Amateur from Beginning Novice through Advanced at Aspen Horse Trials and will make this an annual AR competition. Of the 250 entries competing at Aspen Farms, around 50 were qualified, including three at Advanced. This will become a regular feature at one event in Area VII each year.

Our highest AR honor is the newly created Joanna Herrigstad Award. Joanna has been a Technical Delegate, Judge, jump crew, timer, and just about every volunteer position an event organizer can imagine as well as teaching and being a master at the local hunt. She is the an inspiration for all Adult Riders. Our first recipient, Polly Kranick, is a longtime volunteer, and though she no longer competes in recognized events, still volunteers and clinics. Our second top AR honor is the Robert Leyen/Large Marge Award given to an Adult Rider who just makes Area VII eventing better. It went to Terri Niles who came forward to fill a hole as our Cruise Director, a position we did not realize we needed but we would not want to do without.

Area VIII, AR Coordinator: Shannon Risner
The Area VIII Adult Rider Program had over 250 members in 2012. We offered clinics with ICP Certified Instructors Diana Rich, Robin Walker, and Nadeem Noon. We offer our members a $15.00 coupon which members can use towards any USEA Approved Educational Activity in Area VIII. Karen Chandell oversees our Best Score Award Program. Kim Branscom organized our teams for the Hagyard Midsouth Team Challenge. ICP Grant Recipient Melissa Miller offered course walks for our Novice teams during this competition. We supported the Chronicle of the Horse Eastern ATC at the Virginia Horse Trials by sending four teams (one Preliminary, one Training, and two Novice). Diana Rich coached our teams during this competition. Our program also offers two ICP Grants each year.

I am grateful to the many AR members who offering to help with the program events! We offer socials during many of the horse trials in Area VIII. I encourage our members to stable together at horse trials. I would like to start offering mentoring programs for those new to our sport and mini horsemanship clinic/seminars to our members. One of the best things about the AR Program is bringing adults from different regions of Area VIII together and building up that strong bond of support we have with each other. It is this camaraderie is what makes attending clinics and shows so much fun. For information on the Area VIII Adult Rider Program go to our web site at www.usea8.org/adultriders and join us on Facebook.

Area IX, AR Coordinator: Jamie Gilbert
We ended 2012 with 106 members when in February of 2012 we only had 67 members. We supported all of the USEA Educational Activities in Area IX with Educational Certificates granted to members that had participated in these educational events. The majority of Educational Certificates went to AR members who had attended the Abbe Ranch Clinic in Colorado, Arrowhead Clinic in Billings, Montana, and Powder Basin Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming. There were a few that had participated in the fall Eric Smiley Clinic in Colorado and Utah. We had an Area IX AR mixer at Rebecca Farms and Powder Basin, and the AR had a “Regatta” to celebrate the new water complex at the Area IX Championships. There is a great picture on their website of AR participating in this fun event! We are trying to put together a Committee of Adult Riders to help organize more mixers throughout Area IX.

We did an Area IX AR Team at Rebecca Farms with saddle pads provided to the top placing team. We do not have enough AR at the majority of our horse trials to do teams, so I awarded the top three placing in the Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions at Powder Basin and Windy Wyoming Horse Trials. The awards consisted of saddle pads for first place along with buckets of miscellaneous horsey goods for first, second, and third place. Area IX was represented at the Chronicle of the Horse Western ATC by the Area IX Marauders: Ellen Guthrie and Wanda Webb with catch rider Erika Graf. Ellen had two horses but the rules stated a rider could only have one horse per team, so we recruited Erika, a former Intermediate rider who recently returned to eventing in Area VII from the hunter/jumper world. This team won the Novice division.

I think that providing the AR Educational Certificates has helped support our local horse trials with the clinics that they do to raise money for their events. We did not do a separate AR Camp as it pulls participants away from the clinics/camps that our local events host. We are a very large Area trying to participate in events and clinics with extreme driving distances. It is difficult to decide where or when to do a separate AR Camp when we have such a short eventing season as it is with many local camps that we can support financially that are closer to home.

At our Area IX Championships I put “welcome bags” in each of the AR Stalls. The stuff that was found in the bags was things that I thought would be useful in not only building their boats for the “Regatta,” but to make their life easier during the weekend! They found scissors, flashlights, snacks, zip ties, sunscreen, snacks. It was fun to put together and much appreciated. We have also done AR t-shirts that I have been trying to hand out as I travel throughout Area IX. It has been fun to meet new people this way and for them to put a face to the AR Coordinator!

Area X, AR Coordinator: Jennifer Miller
Area X has 74 Adult Riders members, which is 45 percent of the adult membership. Unfortunately, the lack of numbers resulted in not participants at the ATC, and there were no internal team competitions. I believe the AR program has helped transcend the separation that can occur between barns and trainers. We are not a very big group, but most are delighted to be involved as adults in a sport we all aspire to. We have developed a good social gathering of AR at each of our events through our Happy Hours. The educational clinics with Mike Huber, Daniel Stewart, and Becky Holder have been well attended by participants and auditors.Many thanks to our Area X AR sponsored “Happy Hours” that give an opportunity to gather adults for a quick social moment during every competition. The following rotate hosting between trainers and barns at each event held in Area X:

St. John's: Alice Sarno and Desert Sport Horse
Coconino 1: Manuela Propfe and Jumping Cholla
Coconino 2: Jeffray Ryding and Goose Downs Farm
Coconino Fall: Frederic Bouland and FBETS Eventing
The Event at Santa Fe: Heather Drager
Grass Ridge: Denise Krause-Spangler and DMK Sport Horses
Las Cruces: to be announced

Learn more about the USEA Adult Riders Program at useventing.com/programs/adultrider and join up!

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