Four eventers and Pony Club alumni were inducted into the U.S. Pony Club Academy of Achievement last week in Louisville, Ky. According to the Pony Club website, “The USPC Academy of Achievement recognizes Pony Club alumni for being outstanding in their chosen fields of expertise. Individuals are nominated by members, leaders, and other alumni.”
The alumni were selected by a national committee comprised of dedicated graduate Pony Club members and volunteers. This year the USEA’s own CEO, Rob Burk, along with Dorothy Crowell, Kat Drake, and Tim Leithead were invited to join this distinguished group. The four new inductees participated in the National Youth Congress at the USPC Convention and Equine Symposium as members of the USPC Academy of Achievement. They brought the voice of experience into the discussions and helped the youth delegates with personal development.
About the 2018 Academy of Achievement Alumni:
Rob Burk has been CEO of the USEA since December of 2015. Prior to his appointment he was the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Director of Programs. Previously Rob served as an Executive Director and Senior Adviser within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and with the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Burk competed throughout his life in various equestrian disciplines and had notable success as a young rider in California. He is a graduate H-A of Pony Club from the Middle California Region.
Dorothy Crowell along with her legendary horse, Molokai, were WEG silver medalists, two-time Olympians, the first U.S. champion at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and top-10 finishers at both Badminton and Burghley. Crowell is a USEA ICP Level IV instructor and a C-3 Traditional graduate from the Keenland Pony Club.
Kat Drake graduated as an H from Portola Valley Pony Club while completing her Masters in Epidemiology from the University of California Berkeley and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science and Pharmacogenomics from the University of California San Francisco. Drake currently works as the Director of Informatics at Cytobank, Inc. and continues to event at the Preliminary level.
Tim Leithead is a former eventer and graduate H-A from Eastern PA Region. He comes from a well-known Pony Club family as his mom was President of USPC, his dad was a USPC Vice President and National Examiner and his brother was also inducted into the Academy of Achievement. Tim now is involved in the start-up Moven as well as a consultant for Finvention and is a major advocate for the March of Dimes.
A full list of USPC Academy of Achievement inductees is available here.
Five-star eventer Kim Severson taught a show jumping clinic in January at Milestone Sport Horses in Lovettsville, Virginia where she instructed riders on the importance of forward riding for successful jumping. In this exercise, which Severson progressively adds additional pieces to, riders are instructed to focus on the quality of their canter.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Central time, join Eric Dierks for a live stream interview with David O'Connor. David was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and riding Wilton Fair, was part of the U.S. team at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, where he placed 35th individually and the team finished fourth.
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.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.