Billy Jackson was introduced to horses at a young age through his local 4-H program. “One of my mom's close friends was a large animal vet and she really encouraged me to stay with it,” Jackson said. As an adult, he is a Marketing Project Manager, and when he’s not at work, he’s a lower level eventer based at Poplar Place Farm.
The first USEA Pony of the Year award was presented in 2007 to the legendary Theodore O’Connor (Witty Boy x Chelsea’s Melody), a Thoroughbred/Anglo-Arab gelding ridden by Karen O’Connor and owned by the Theodore O’Connor Syndicate. Now, a trophy bearing his name is presented each year to the Pony of the Year.
Chris Ryan’s initial assessment of this 3-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding is that he’s a “good quality sort. Brown is a great color – a strong color in ‘nature.’ One of the first questions I ask myself when evaluating a horse is if he has refinement. We know the breed type here is Thoroughbred but I still ask the question."
The USEA Event Companion App was launched in late 2016 for iOS and Android devices to provide USEA members with easy, at-your-fingertips access to the USEA calendar of events, dressage tests, rules, news, and more. The app, now in its fifth year, has rolled out a new feature for users - push notifications are here!
After the popularity of Rules Open Forum held virtually during the 2020 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in December, the USEA Competitions, Calendar, and Rules Committee decided to host another Rules Webinar to share information about the extraordinary rule changes going into effect on April 1, 2021 and the rule change proposals being put forward to the USEF by March 1, 2021 for approval for the 2022 competition season.
The USEA recognizes more than 245 events across 36 states 12 months of the year and each one of those event organizers provides an outlet that enables amateurs to reach competitive goals; professionals to make a livelihood; horses to gain qualifications; and riders from every walk of life to experience the joy of eventing.
Every year, the USEA has the opportunity to submit rule change proposals to go into effect during the current competition year as a part of the extraordinary rule change process. Rules approved through the extraordinary rule change process this year will go into effect on April 1, 2021. This year, the USEA has submitted four extraordinary rule changes for consideration by the USEF.
The USEA Classic Series was formed in response to the shift away from long format events at the uppermost levels of eventing in the early 2000s. Instead, the tradition of the long format event, including the four phases of endurance day, was kept alive for the Preliminary level and below. USEA Classic Series events also include educational activities on topics ranging from horse inspections and steeplechase to horse care and conditioning.
Like the years before it, 2010 was another year of growth for the USEA Young Event Horse Series (YEH). The USEA YEH East Coast Championships were once again held at Fair Hill International and the USEA YEH West Coast Championships, now in their second year, were hosted at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California. The two championships combined saw 26 starters and there were 18 qualifying events held over the course of the year.
Like the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program, the USEA New Event Horse (NEH) program is a great way to introduce eventing to a horse that's never experienced it before. However, unlike the YEH program, the NEH classes are open to horses of any age and are also a great introduction to the sport for an inexperienced rider.