Since 1959 the United States Eventing Association (USEA) has held 10 core values. Each core value acting as a staple that binds the nonprofit organization together, education could be described as the centerfold staple. Education is, in essence, what founded the USEA through the vision of Alexander Mackay-Smith. “To advance the sport of eventing through the education of riders, trainers, officials, and organizers, with the health and well-being of the horse of paramount importance,” is the USEA mission statement that has been carried out for 60 years. None of this would be possible without the hard-working volunteers that make up the USEA committees.
From frangible fence research to educating riders about training and endurance through Classic Series competitions, USEA strives to educate every member in its organization, and this is where committees come into play. Rob Burk, CEO of the USEA, explained, “The USEA does most of its work through committees.” From the big picture down to the fine details, some of the committees' work include the creation of the ‘Modified’ level, the decision-making process for selecting the USEA Educational Symposium featured clinicians, the development of an Intercollegiate Eventing Handbook, the creation of eventingvolunteers.com, and the design of the Young Event Horse (YEH) scoring system.
A committee can be defined as "a group of people appointed to perform some service or function as to investigate, report on, or act upon a particular matter." The USEA has over 26 committees including the Instructors Certification Program Committee, Executive Committee, Safety and Equine Welfare Committee, Young Event Horse Committee, Future Event Horse Committee, Intercollegiate Eventing Committee, and more. The size of a committee can range from five to 25 members and each committee has a USEA staff liaison, an appointed chair or co-chairs, and a unique mission statement.
If necessary, committees can also form subcommittees, which is defined as "a subdivision of a committee usually organized for a specific purpose." For example, “the USEA Safety and Equine Welfare Committee is made up of three subcommittees: rider, horse, and cross-country,” Burk explained.
Similar to committees, USEA also has several task forces like the DX Eventing Task Force and Classic Three-Day Task Force. A task force is formed for one purpose and disbands when the job is complete. “Task forces are temporary,” Burk emphasized as a difference between a task force and a committee. “The American Eventing Championships (AEC) Organizing Task Force pops up and goes away every year depending on who the USEA has hired as an organizer.”
Committee chairs and committee members are appointed by the USEA President and approved by the USEA Board of Governors. Unless the committee votes a member off or they choose to step down, there is no set term limit for a committee chair or committee member. Each committee reports to a designated USEA Board of Governor member.
Ultimately, the USEA Board of Governors (BOG), a group of 21 members, has the final say in what gets approved or not. “Technically a committee could make a decision and the BOG could override the decision. The BOG is empowered through the USEA Articles of Corporation and the USEA Bylaws,” said Burk.
Although the BOG might make the final decision, the USEA “wants to have a board member on every committee. We tell every board member to get involved with any committee that interests them. Also, as a board member you have an automatic seat on any committee.”
One committee that works closely with the BOG is the Executive Committee and their mission statement is "to act on behalf of the USEA Board of Governors between board meetings in the areas of management and control of the Association." “The Executive Committee meets monthly and is empowered to make decisions when the BOG is not meeting. The Executive Committee is made up of 9-10 positions,” Burk described.
Committees, task forces, and the BOG – the USEA would not be able to function as a nonprofit organization without the dedicated individuals that make up these groups!
For more information on how the USEA functions as an organization, read Power Players of the USEA.
Click here to view a complete list of the USEA Committees.
US Equestrian has announced the nomination of the following athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Eventing Team, as well as the Reserves for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Three direct reserve horses have also been named. A direct reserve horse would be an automatic replacement should the original horse on which an athlete was named need to be substituted.
A combination that can be found on almost every cross-country course starting at the Novice level is the coffin combination. As the levels go up, so does the difficulty of the coffin question. The distances become shorter, coffins become bigger, and the terrain becomes steeper - even the name itself sounds intimidating.
The dressage test is the first of the three phases in eventing. Intended to demonstrate "the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse," the dressage test contains a prescribed list of movements to be carried out in front of a judge, or judges, and which is then given a penalty score that horse and rider carry through to the end of the competition.
On Sunday, June 16, Molly Sullivan and Kate Swain were named the two winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award for Area IX at Golden Spike Horse Trials.