It always helps to see a warm and friendly face when heading to warm up for that all-important test or jump round. In this new series, the United States Evening Association (USEA) is partnering with Athletux to feature those around us who help make these events happen, the volunteers. Without them horse shows and programs could not succeed, and these volunteers go above and beyond to make sure every rider feels comfortable and confident. Do you know a volunteer who should be nominated as Volunteer of the Month? We are looking for our next feature. Email your tips to [email protected].
When it comes to volunteering, Margie Davis may have logged more hours than anyone else. She not only pitches in wherever and whenever necessary, but she also serves as the full-time Volunteer Coordinator at Copper Meadows. You can often find her scurrying around making sure everything is organized at one of their many events or schooling shows and, not only does she manage to do all of this but, she is also an active competitor and has shown through the CCI* level. In fact, she has been around horses for almost as long as she can remember. She started taking lessons at the age of 12 and by the age of 14, was off competing at her first event. She rode all throughout high school and college but decided to step away when she graduated in order to find her first job and settle down. Eventually, the time came where she wanted to become more involved in the horse community again and, that’s when she decided to volunteer.
In the beginning, Davis’ main goal was to “meet more people and become more familiar with the sport since it had changed so much,” but it truly blossomed into much more than that for her. Taren and Carolyn Hoffos at Copper Meadows first introduced Davis to the role of the Volunteer Coordinator. Davis thought it would be challenging and fun so she agreed to help and, the rest they say, is history. To begin, she mainly worked with the local pony club, who would come to volunteer, but eventually, her job morphed into going out and recruiting new volunteers as well. Davis has now been serving as the Volunteer Coordinator for 14 years and she not only recruits them, but also trains new volunteers, assigns them to their positions, and makes sure everything runs smoothly at the event or show.
Photo courtesy of Margie Davis.
Not only does she serve as the Volunteer Coordinator at Copper Meadows, but she has also done about every job a volunteer could. A particular favorite of Davis’ is the scribing role. She explained, “I get to learn so much and the dressage phase is so beautiful and fascinating. I love learning the nuances of it all and seeing things from a judge’s perspective.” If Davis had to pick another favorite, cross-country jump judging would definitely come in at a close second.
In fact, one of her favorite places to jump judge is at the Galway Downs Horse Trials. Not only has she done that, but she has also served as their Volunteer Coordinator. She was only called up about a week before the event, but she sprang into action and had everything organized and running smoothly. This truly demonstrates the selflessness that Davis possesses. Even if someone called the week or even day before, Davis would still do everything in her power to be there and do anything they needed her to do.
Photo courtesy of Margie Davis.
When asked why she loves to volunteer so much, Davis was quick to point out that, “it’s the people and the horses. I love to be a part of it and once I got a little taste, I couldn’t help but want to come back for more.” This true passion and dedication for volunteering also comes from her love of the sport. It is easy to see the passion Davis has for the sport. We asked her why she loved the sport so much and in response, Davis replied, “Other than the adrenaline rush of cross-country? I just love the camaraderie and the teamwork between the horse and rider as well as the teamwork between competitors.” One of Davis’ favorite parts about going to an event is, “knowing my friends and barn mates are going to be there and being able to help each other whether it’s braiding or walking the courses. I just love to cheer on my teammates!”
If you were to ask the eventing community about Davis, you would no doubt only hear wonderful things. Davis is the type of person who would go out of her way to help others and do things at the drop of a hat if you needed her to. Her dedication to the eventing community in all realms is something that everyone should aspire to have and is absolutely incredible. It is special to see how much of an impact she has made. Those who volunteer at Copper Meadows come back time and time again because they know Margie will be there and they enjoy volunteering for and with her. There aren’t many events in Area VI, especially at Copper Meadows, that she misses so make sure you keep an eye out for her – and when you see her, give her a huge thank you, because the eventing community would not be the same without her.
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 here to learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.
The USEA would like to thank Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Volunteer Incentive Program.
The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.
Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
For many equestrians today, horse insurance is often viewed as a big, daunting, and scary topic. There are potential pitfalls and there is a lot of fine print to be addressed. The questions are many and the fine print is very fine. What type of coverage is needed? What are the right questions that should be asked before deciding on the right policy for you and your horse?