Charles Owen announced that Roy Burek, Chairman and Owner of the legendary equestrian safety company, passed away on Saturday, April 27th following a heart attack in his sleep.
"Roy was a true gift to equestrian sport," said USEA CEO Rob Burk. "I had the true pleasure of working with Roy and his company Charles Owen over the past several years. He truly cared about the health and safety of our athletes. We should all strive to follow his example."
The USEA and Charles Owen have worked together for many years including the founding of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. Charles Owen is the official riding helmet of the USEA.
Roy had over 30 years of personal experience in the safety industry. His grandfather founded Charles Owen in 1911, and the company has since established itself as the gold standard for international equestrian safety.
Roy received a chemistry degree from the University of Oxford (UK) and pursued a career in the corporate world before returning to Charles Owen. Roy was dedicated to leading industry research and setting new standards for safety technology. Roy was recognized by ASTM and the British Horse Society for his contributions to safety research, served on the European Standards Committee, and co-chaired the task group that sets ASTM standards.
Roy's passion for research led to groundbreaking discoveries regarding the variables that determine the severity of a fall and in concussion reduction. He led Charles Owen to think outside the box in order to construct new materials and more accurate standards for helmets and body protectors. Roy also served as an Honorary Visiting Professor at the School of Engineering at Cardiff University.
“Roy committed his life’s work towards making horse riding safer and saving lives,” said Charles Owen. “He will be very sorely missed by us all. We all know how much he believed in this family business and it is now time for us to come together and do Roy proud.”
Charles Owen will now be led by Owen Burek, Roy’s son, who has been working with his father in recent years. “As the fourth generation to Charles Owen, Owen is deeply committed to building on the company’s remarkable 108-year heritage whilst maintaining ‘business as usual’ for employees, retailers, and customers. He is already working closely with senior management in both the UK and USA, including Operations Director Ricky Hone and Director of Sales and Marketing Danielle Santos,” said Charles Owen.
Cynthia Burek – Roy’s sister and a Professor at the University of Chester – will be looking into establishing a trust to fund research on head injury, to continue her brother’s legacy and their grandfather’s mission of Charles Owen being ‘For a Safer World.’
Nestled in the heart of St. Louis County is Queeny Park, the former estate of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edgar M. Queeny. This gorgeous public park features trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, a dog park, and so much more. On any given day you can find cyclists, walkers, families, and more enjoying the sprawling grounds of Queeny Park, but once a year eventers take over as the park hosts the Queeny Park Horse Trials. It is not uncommon for park visitors to watch from a safe distance as horses gallop across the grounds at Queeny Park, making it an event that truly anyone in the community can enjoy. This family-friendly staple in the St. Louis equestrian community has run for over 40 years, offering eventers in Area IV and beyond the opportunity to enjoy the park's ample space and terrain during the weekend-long event.
Where can you find fierce competition at every level, an overwhelming team atmosphere, and tons of spirit? The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships of course! The 2022 Championships get underway tonight at 6:00 p.m. EST with the Opening Ceremony and Senior Awards Presentation, and official competition kicks off first thing Saturday morning. A total of 87 championship competitors will be representing 12 schools and make up 22 championship teams which will compete over the course of the weekend at the Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials.
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.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2022. They are returning as a ‘Bronze Sponsor of the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC)’, a ‘Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC)’, a ‘Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Classic Series’, and a ‘Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.’ As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.