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!

Feb 28, 2021 Profile

Now on Course: Heartbeats and Hoofbeats

My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.

Feb 27, 2021 Association News

Beware of Phishing Attempts and Other Types of Fraud

Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.

Feb 27, 2021 Education

Top 10 Tips for Leather Care with Bates Saddles

Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.

Feb 26, 2021 Rules

Update on Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal

Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).

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