Dec 15, 2019

Board of Governors Meeting Closes Out the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Newly minted USEA President Max Corcoran opened the final Board of Governors meeting of the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Boston, Massachusetts by sharing her enthusiasm for her new position.

Senior Director of Membership Jennifer Hardwick shared that this year saw the third-largest convention in USEA history with a total of 534 attendees. Looking to 2021, the board considered two locations: Savannah, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina. After discussion of different factors including room cost and food & beverage budget, the Board voted to send the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention to Savannah in 2021.

Chair of the Equine Medical Research Committee Denise Dailey-Thomas imparted news that one of the studies that was selected to be supported by the equine medical research fund at the August Board meeting has since been fully funded. There is a similar Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Dailey-Thomas asked if the Board would approve to use the funds to fund this study instead. The Board voted to support the new study with the funds that had previously been allocated.

With the conclusion of the cardiovascular research being conducted by Dr. Catherine Kohn that the USEA has previously supported with the Cardiovascular Research Study Task Force, Dr. Jennifer Miller recommended that the task force be dissolved and the duties transferred to the Equine Welfare and Safety Subcommittee. The Board passed this motion.

Vice President of Competitions Jonathan Elliott of the Competitions, Calendar, and Rules Committee (CCRC) recommended to the Board that they put forward a motion to remove show jumping course designer requirement in rule EV 176 for the Intermediate level. The justification was that there are not enough licensed course designers to fulfill the demand.

Vice President of Safety Mary Coldren continued, explaining that in many instances there is just one show jumping course designer designing all the courses in a single area, meaning that they are not able to be present at the event to see their designs executed. This issue is resulting in courses that aren’t adjusted for terrain or other factors. The motion to recommend a rule change proposal to remove Intermediate from the rule was carried with three opposed and one abstention.

Next, Vice President of Education Jerry Schurink gave a report on the Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), which is celebrating its 20th year as part of Convention. Concerns over participation in the ICP have been raised, and the ICP Committee is looking at means of increasing interest and reengaging those who are already certified in different ways.

One of the hardest things about getting workshops going is the cost and organizational demands – hosts are readily available but don’t want to be bogged down with administrative work. To alleviate some of this stress, Senior Director of Education Nancy Knight has proposed bringing some of that administrative work in house. Furthermore, the ICP has developed a scholarship that will reduce the cost of the workshops for candidate instructors by half (down to $200 for Level I/II workshops). The ICP Committee has identified host sites and is working on putting a calendar together by January so the dates can be publicized throughout the year.

The ICP Committee also would like to develop an ICP Sue Hershey Award. This would be a national level year end award presented to an ICP certified instructor. ICP Coordinator Lauren Gash would keep records and it would be up to students/instructors to send in information. The Board approved the motion to send this to the USEA Foundation for consideration.

Vice President of Active Athletes Doug Payne asked if a written agreement could be created with the horse show videographers that would require them to provide accident footage to the USEA for a fee so that the footage can be studied by the Safety Committee. The Board passed this motion.

Coldren heard a lot of discussion about concussion on a lot of different committees this weekend, but recognizes that there are a lot of variables/roadblocks – HIPPA, for example – that prevent research. Instead, she suggested we focus on education and communication of concussion information to officials, coaches, etc. to make people aware, in particular because concussions at home and at schooling shows are not subject to the return to play protocol.

Next Coldren brought forward a few rule change proposals to be considered including one about the correlation between show jumping penalties and proceeding to cross-country, if you fall off anywhere on the grounds you must be assessed by the medical team (currently you only have to be assessed if you fall off while competing), and that if any rider refuses to be evaluated they would receive a yellow card (currently they receive a $100 fine).

USEA CEO Rob Burk shared that Dr. Mark Hart has suggested that he would like to form a USEA Medical Committee that meets on an ad hoc basis that could meet to discuss various topics regarding human medicine. While we have a Rider Safety Subcommittee, we don’t have anything that focuses on human medicine. The Board approved that Dr. Hart could form a committee that will meet on an ad hoc basis.

Board Member John Bourgoin shared that the USEF doesn't yet have a signed contract for a venue for the 2020 North American Youth Championships (NAYC), and he also revealed that if you are over the age of 18 and planning to compete at NAYC, you now have to have a background check per the SafeSport requirements.

The E18 program, which is now under the purview of the USEA, has been submitted to the USEA Areas, and a task force has been formed to look at developing an implementation plan.

The Young Rider Mentorship Program did not receive any applicants last year, so the plan for this year is to approach the USEA Intercollegiate Program and see about partnering with them.

Janet Gunn reported that the number of affiliates remains unchanged for 2020 and the Affiliates did not have any other issue to bring forward.

Rules for the Modified Classic Three-Day have been created and the board voted to move forward with submitting the rule change proposal.

Barnstaple South has been named as the venue for the 2020 USEA Educational Symposium taking place in Ocala in February. It had been discussed with the Board that the USEA would commission an educational recap video of the East Coast Symposium and three possible companies have been identified to undertake the project. The Board voted to investigate further the lower cost of the two options.

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About the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, December 12-15, 2019. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

The USEA would like to thank Adequan, Bates, Nutrena, Charles Owen, Standlee Premium Western Forage, SmartPak, Mountain Horse, Parker Equine Insurance, Rebecca Farm, Auburn Laboratories, Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Nunn Finer, World Equestrian Brands, Gallops Saddlery, Revitavet, Hylofit, and Tryon International Equestrian Center for sponsoring the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

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