Many years ago, a good friend, Dot Hamilton, became Area Chair for Area VII. She said, "We need an Adult Rider Coordinator – you do it!" "Ok," I said. "What should adult riders do?" "Let's have a camp," she said! So we did. With only a couple of years missed early on, the Area VII Adult Rider Camp has now become a much-anticipated activity on the calendar. Different locations, times or the year and some changes in staff but the theme constant. Fun, camaraderie, education. Not necessarily in that order!
All these years later, I have learned what works and what people want - early in the year to prep, a good mix of fun activities and educational talks for the evenings. One thing I was adamant about was keeping it affordable. We usually break even or lose money which is made up for with our fundraisers. I do a lot of sweet talking to convince top-name instructors to come out to our little corner of the eventing world and give me a deal! Promises of good food and a very enthusiastic bunch of folks usually does the trick.
With daily lessons in all three phases, the days are a four- to five-ring circus. We do a potluck meet and greet on Thursday evening, the arrival day. Friday has now become a tradition of Pizza and Puppy Steeplechase (you really have to be there!) So much fun with betting that raises money for the local animal shelter. We try to fit in a talk or demo of a more educational bent. Saturday we offer a nice catered dinner with adult beverages flowing. More education, then another tradition, the White Elephant Gift exchange – this gets quite competitive with folks going after some 'interesting' gifts! It is an over 21 activity – I say no more!
I couldn't do this without a team. I have some amazing friends that do catering, social directors, and many other things behind the scenes. Some, like Lou Leslie, have been with me from the start.
The times when I would be thinking about not doing it, I would get a thank you with comments of, "I made some great friends," and "I am now hooked on eventing," and it made me do it again. I have new organizers stepping up for next year – some new ideas and 'young blood' will be good!
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.
To accompany the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, USEA Educational Partner STRIDER has prepared Digital Resources to Maximize Education & Access for the Eventing Community. In keeping with the USEA’s mission to expand the sport of eventing, this webinar outlines ways in which digital tools can be leveraged to increase access and education across equestrian opportunities. As part of STRIDER’s popular Professional Development Webinar Series, this presentation aims to provide a quick overview of best practices and digital tools used across the equestrian industry to boost growth.
Every horse who participated this year in the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program has a story—a background that involves a breeder who labored over bloodlines, veterinary care, initial training, and so much more. This year’s highest-placing U.S.-bred horse in the 5-year-old division at the Dutta Corp./USEA Young Event Horse Championships, Arden Augustus, is no exception. His breeder and owner, Anita Antenucci of Arden Farms in Upperville, Virginia, started her program nine years ago and said that the Warmblood gelding was a more emotionally driven breeding for her than others due to his connections with Antenucci’s long-time friend Sharon White.