May 03, 2020

Area VII Adult Riders Take Team Competition Online

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Area VII Adult Rider Meika Decher shared her "paper tiger" as part of an online virtual team challenge. Photo courtesy of the Area VII Adult Riders Facebook group.

Every year, the Area VII Adult Riders host the Adult Rider Team Series (ARTS), a virtual team challenge where Adult Rider program members are randomly placed on a virtual team and can complete tasks to earn points for their team. Points can be earned for entering an event, completing an event (the higher the placing, the more points you earn), and volunteering at an event. Plus, there are special bonus point opportunities like orchestrating an Adult Rider party or complimenting the Adult Rider Coordinator.

“A lot of the Area Adult Rider programs have some sort of team competition,” said Lou Leslie, Area VII’s Secretary. “Whether they do it at one competition and have a team challenge there, or like this one, which is a whole series.”

The ARTS isn’t just for riders, either. “I would say a third of the people in this virtual challenge don’t actually ride at shows – they volunteer,” Leslie shared. “It gives them some touch with the community and makes them an important part of the team. At the end of the year at our Annual Meeting we give out really nice awards for the teams.”

When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the spring competition season, it derailed many of the opportunities participants would have had to earn points for their teams. But, Leslie said it hasn’t been all bad news. “It’s given me an opportunity to keep everyone engaged and thinking about eventing,” she said.

Team flyer for "The Young and the Rest of Us". Photo courtesy of the Area VII Adult Riders Facebook group.

Leslie saw the opportunity to keep the Area VII Adult Riders engaged with challenges that could be completed online. “What I’ve been doing – I send out an email to the teams telling them what this week’s game is going to be [before I post it to the Facebook group],” she said. “Making a flyer with your team with pictures on it was one of the first challenges we did.” Since then, Leslie has also challenged riders to post their first eventing photo and photos of their “paper tigers,” with more challenges in the works to keep the Adult Riders engaged.

“It’s kept the Adult Rider program active up here,” she concluded. “It’s really shown the strength of the program.”

Interested to see what kinds of things the Area VII Adult Riders have been up to with their virtual team challenge? Check out the Area VII Adult Riders Facebook group!

Are you an Area VII Adult Rider interested in joining in? Contact Lou Leslie directly.

Are you a member of another USEA Area interested in participating in a virtual team challenge? Reach out to your Area’s Adult Rider Coordinator to find out what kinds of opportunities are available in your area!

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