Feb 24, 2019

Official's Journal: Giving Back to the Sport We Love

High Time Photography Photo courtesy of Erin Kimmer.

Erin Kimmer is on a journey to obtain her USEF “r” Technical Delegate license and is taking us along with her through the Training Program for Eventing Officials.

My name is Erin Stormont Kimmer and I am in the process of obtaining my “r” Technical Delegate license. I am a rider, trainer, barn owner/manager, and have been interested in obtaining my license for the last couple of years.

My interest was piqued about 12 years ago when I was attending an equine business management program where judge and organizer Sue Smithson spoke on the need for more experienced organizers and judges. I can very clearly remember her stating, “All of us are getting old and there are just no new, young people interested in the becoming judges.”

Her statement really struck a chord with me. Most people coming up in the equine business world want to be the rider or trainer but few think about the other side of the eventing industry. Everyone wants to compete but it seems like most forget that in order to do so we need officials!

Photo courtesy of Erin Kimmer.

I began volunteering at The Fork Horse Trials in 2010 and experienced the other side of event organization. I really enjoyed seeing the competition from the volunteer's perspective and it gave me a better appreciation for everything that goes on behind the scenes. I always came away with great insights learned from the wonderful officials I was lucky enough to work with. Everyone should volunteer at events, no matter the level you ride, as it gives such great perspective on how we as riders and trainers perceive and treat volunteers and officials. Sitting with a judge for a day at an event certainly gives insight into what they are looking for and why things are scored in such a way.

In order to apply for a license, there are a couple of requirements that must be met before one is able to submit an application. There are two different kinds of experience that are required: riding and organizational and/or previous officiating experience. I had my riding requirements but still needed my organizational requirements, which consist of either being an organizer or member of organizing committee at a USEF event, being a secretary at USEF event, being an ICP certified instructor. I was very lucky to be able to join on as organizer for the Heart of the Carolinas Three Day Event last year after years of being a loyal volunteer. Once again, volunteering was very beneficial and helped me get my foot in the door!

Photo courtesy of Erin Kimmer.

Being an organizer was some of the best experience of my journey to become a licensed official. Events seem to fly by in an instant when you are competing but the preparations that must take place for organizers and staff in order for events to happen is a long and involved process. The months leading up are full of event site prep, fundraising, coordination, and planning that many often overlook. Learning how course designers plan and lay out their courses and the effort that goes into building and decorating them all helped me to gain a better understanding of what I can expect when I become an official.

I love the sport of eventing and want to be able to contribute in a positive way. If you are really passionate about something, you should try to become involved and give back. I enjoy stepping up when there is a need and have found that as much as I enjoy competing, what is equally gratifying is seeing others having a great time at events. It feels good knowing that I am doing something to contribute to their joy and safety while helping to support and share the love of eventing. Looking forward to a great ride!

Nov 21, 2019 Education

USCTA Throwback: Preparing for the Cross-Country

Start teaching your horse to jump by working over cavallettis first at the walk and then by trotting over them slowly. Then school him over a variety of small fences at the trot. Schooling over low fences will build the horse's confidence. Then do the same thing at a slow canter. Remember, never force your horse over high fences as he will lose his confidence.

Nov 21, 2019 Competitions

USEA Events A-Z: St. Johns Horse Trials

The St. Johns Horse Trials takes place at the St. Johns Equestrian Center in Saint Johns, Arizona (Area X) in April of each year, offering Pre-Comp through Preliminary/Training levels in addition to a derby class meant as an introduction to the sport for new horses and riders.

Nov 20, 2019 Competitions

Through the Lens: 2019 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event

This year the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event forgot that it was set in sunny Florida - the 2019 event had a cold and drizzly backdrop for the 153 horses and riders who competed across four days.

Nov 19, 2019 Eventing News

Multiple Olympian Klimke Takes FEI Best Athlete Award in Moscow

Double Olympic team gold medalist and five-time Olympian Ingrid Klimke was announced as winner of the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Moscow (RUS) tonight.

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