Mar 12, 2019

Inside the Life of a VIP: Vicki Reynolds, the 2018 Volunteer of the Year

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Vicki Reynolds (left) receiving her award for 2018 USEA Volunteer of the Year. RedBayStock.com Photo.

“I am definitely a morning person,” emphasized Vicki Reynolds, the 2018 USEA Volunteer of the Year. “Growing up in Vermont, I was in bed by 7:30 p.m. so I could wake up early to ride before school." A life filled with horses, racing motocross, competitive rowing, and volunteering, Vicki Reynolds has stayed on the go. By being a morning person, Reynolds was able to clock in 330 volunteer hours and 35 minutes to secure the 2018 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.

Learning how to ride on a Shetland pony named Dondi, Reynolds described how she got into horses. “I got into horses as my mother loved horses. I got a Shetland pony named Dondi when I was 10 years old and the love affair started.” Transitioning from eventing to racing motorcross, Reynolds spent her 20s and early 30s racing, and, “At 36, I stopped racing motorcross to go to college.”

While attending school, Reynolds spotted an advertisement for rowing, and she quickly caught on to the sport. “[Riding] horses gave me the feel of listening to something underneath me, so it was natural to listen and feel the boat. I started racing and was winning. I was asked, 'Who taught you how to row?' [and] I replied, 'My boat taught me,' and then going to races I listened and learned.”

“I was fortunate enough to race rowing shells in the Czech Republc, Spain, Belgium, Germany, and France,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds riding her Shetland pony, Dondi (left) with her friend Ginger Lipponer (right) in Sowe, Vermont. Photo courtesy of Vicki Reynolds.

As for Reynolds favorites, “My favorite color is coral. My favorite food and drink are chicken wings and beer! I am a salty person over sweet. [I prefer] dogs over cats. I have had Borzois and Greyhounds because I love their elegance and grace."

“Just do it,” is Reynolds’ one piece of advice to volunteers. “Learn, listen, and try different jobs as you might surprise yourself with what you discover. Watch the different riders and see how it is done well and also how it is done not so well. A great learning experience is right before you, so enjoy!”

“Live life, not your age,” is Reynolds' life motto and with that she’s able to live every day to the fullest. Thank you to Vicki Reynolds for all of her hard work and don’t forget, “There is no eventing without volunteers!”

About the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport, the unsung heroes, and the people who make it possible to keep the sport alive. In efforts to recognize the dedication, commitment, and hard work that volunteers put into eventing, USEA formed the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) in 2015. In 2017, an online management portal was designed for volunteers, organizers, and volunteer coordinators at EventingVolunteers.com (available as an app for iOS and Android).

Volunteer incentives include national and area recognition, year-end awards with ribbons, cash prizes, and trophies, a top ten USEA Volunteer leaderboard, and a Volunteer of the Year award which is given to the volunteer who tops the leaderboard by accumulating the most volunteer hours over the USEA competition year. Click hereto learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.

The USEA would like to thank Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Volunteer Incentive Program.

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