Mar 05, 2019

Breaking Down the Basics of USEA Committees

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

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.

Maxime Livio was one of the 2019 USEA Educational Symposium's featured clinicians. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

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.”

Tamra Smith and Fleeceworks Ghost competing at the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The Influence of the Board

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.

Voting at the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting of Members. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

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.

Oct 24, 2021 USEA Foundation

Young Horses from the U.S. Close Out Competition Weekend at Mondial du Lion Young Horse Championships

Wrapping up an exciting weekend of competition, young horses from all over the planet gathered together in Le Lion d’Angers, France for the final phase of the 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses. This year’s Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize recipients Cole Horn and MBF Cooley Permission to Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) finished out an educational weekend in the 7-year-old championships in 31st out of 58 pairs.

Oct 24, 2021 Competitions

Sweden's Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis Pulls Ahead After Cross-Country in The Event at TerraNova CCI4*-S

Florida-based Swedish rider Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis galloped around clear and fastest of the day on Saturday to take the lead in the inaugural CCI4*-S, sponsored by B&D Builders, at The Event at TerraNova. Jarnstrom-Dennis and her Hanoverian mare Flower Girl (Futurist x Lucy) were fourth after dressage on 30.8. Not a single horse-and-rider combination made the optimum time; she added 10.8 time penalties to lead on 41.6.

Oct 24, 2021 Intercollegiate

USEA Collegiate Member: Cosby Green, Four-Star Competitor and Full-Time Student

Fresh off a top 15 finish in the CCI3*-L at the Maryland 5 Star, Cosby Green is back in Lexington attending class at the University of Kentucky (UK). The 21-year-old is an undergraduate student, a team member and the social chair of the UK eventing team, has two upper-level event horses, Copper Beach and Highly Suspicious, and a young horse, McCreary, who she rode on the winning team of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.

Oct 23, 2021 Young Event Horse

U.S. Riders Move Up the Leaderboard in 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championships at Mondial du Lion

Course designer Pierre Michelet's cross-country courses for the 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion were extravagant as always and put young horses to the ultimate test in the 6- and 7-year-old Championships. The 2021 Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize recipients Cole Horn and MBF Cooley Permission to Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) move forward after the final phase sitting in 30th overnight on a score of 55.8.

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