The key to eventing’s success lies heavily in the organizers who put on our events. The USEA is proud to recognize each year the organizers who have made contributions to the sport through their organizational efforts. For 2021, the USEA Organizers Appreciation Honor Roll of Names honors nearly 200 organizers for five to 25+ years of service. The Blue Ribbon is awarded to those organizers with five to nine years of service, the Bronze Medal recognizes organizers with 10-14 years of service, organizers who have contributed 15-19 years of service are awarded the Silver Medal, those with 20-24 years of service will receive the Gold Medal, and a select few with 25 years or more of service as organizers are bestowed the title of Platinum Medal organizers.
No matter how many years these organizers have dedicated to hosting safe, quality, and fun events all around the country, each one is just as important. This year, however, three new recipients have earned Platinum Medal status: Bob and Tracy Hewlett who organize the events at Holly Hill Farm, and Shelley Page who currently organizes the events at the Tryon International Equestrian Center and previously organized at Rocking Horse (formerly known as Sharpton Stables).
For Tracy Hewlett, the driving force behind continuing the Holly Hill Farm Horse Trials for a quarter of a century is being able to watch the interest in eventing grow in her area of northwest Louisiana, as well as see improvements being made to the farm. “When we moved here 40 years ago there were hardly any English riders and no eventing going on within a couple of hundred miles,” Hewlett shared. “As we started pulling logs out of the woods and digging ditches and water obstacles to school, our boarders took right to it. Our first little schooling show quickly evolved into what we have today at Holly Hill.”
One accumulates many memories in 25 years of event organization, but Hewlett recalls one event vividly when the horse trials fell during the same time that her mares were preparing to foal. “The technical delegate was staying at the house with us and one of the first nights she was there we were getting ready for bed when the Foal Alert went off, recalled Hewlett. “She asked what that alarm was and we told her that there was a mare in labor in the backyard. As we hustled to get out there she joined right in and had the foal in her lap a few minutes later!”
Putting on an event is a labor of love, something that both Bob and Tracy Hewlett are well aware of at this point. For newer organizers just getting their toes wet, she offers one piece of advice: “You have to realize that no matter how well prepared you are, things are never going to go perfectly and that all the officials understand that. You just have to stay calm and try your best.”
Of course, in addition to the wonderful long-time organizers, we need to recognize those individuals who have taken a deep dive into the world of event organization and are working to keep the growth of our sport in the United States on an upward trend. For 2021, there were seven new names added to the Blue Ribbon list for organizers with five to10 years of service. Organizers added to the Blue Ribbon rankings include Andy Bowles, Christel Carlson, Max Corcoran, Darrin Mollett, Randy Pielemier, John Staples, and Tracy Zack.
Sarah Broussard is the newest addition to the Bronze Medal listing, while Alice Andrews and Mary Lowry achieved Silver Medal status in 2021. The final new additions to the Organizers Appreciation Honor Roll of Names are William Graves and Lena Warner who upgraded to Gold Medal Status.
Join us in congratulating all of the past and present Organizers Appreciation Honor Roll recipients listed below:
The USEA is proud to pay tribute to the event organizers of today and in perpetuity, for their hard work, dedication, and continued service to the sport of eventing.
HONOR ROLL OF NAMES
Blue Ribbon – 5 to 9 years of service:
Bronze Medal – 10 to 14 years of service:
Silver Medal – 15 to 19 years of service:
Gold Medal – 20 to 24 years of service:
Platinum Medal – 25 plus years of service:
The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.
USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.
When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.
It has been three years since Auburn University has clinched the title of USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Champions, but the team aimed to rectify that at the 2022 Championships by sending six teams to compete, one of which, the Auburn War Eagles, sits in the pole position following the first day of competition.