The USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) launched the Volunteer Medal Program in 2020 to enhance the recognition of these resilient volunteers. The Volunteer Medal Program recognizes the volunteers who consistently volunteer year after year. Hours earned are cumulative over a lifetime of volunteer service. To earn a bronze medal, volunteers must record 500 volunteer hours; to earn a silver medal, volunteers must record 1,000 volunteer hours; and to earn a gold medal, volunteers must record 2,000 volunteer hours at eventingvolunteers.com.
Last year in 2020, seven volunteers earned their bronze medal and in 2021, 12 volunteers earned their bronze medal and two volunteers earned their silver medal. These hours have accumulated since December 1, 2016.
Silver Medal Volunteers:
The leading volunteer featured on the Volunteer Medal Program leaderboard is Diane Bird who has accumulated 1,130 hours and 16 minutes. She has recorded over 100 volunteer hours every year since 2017. She was the 2019 USEA Volunteer of the Year presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods. Get to know more about Diane Bird by clicking here. Diane Bird’s path to a silver medal:
The 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year, Cynthia Smith also achieved her silver medal this past year. Since 2016 Smith has recorded 1,045 hours and 45 minutes. In 2021 alone she recorded an impressive 536 hours and 59 minutes, which is the most hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the VIP program in 2014. Cynthia Smith’s path to a silver medal:
Bronze Medal Volunteers:
There were 12 volunteers who joined the already seven bronze medal volunteers in 2021. The seven bronze medal volunteers from 2020 were Diane Bird, Michael Smallwood, Art Bird, Paige Ervin, Leah Fleming, Angie Leihy, and Cynthia Smith. The 12 new bronze medal volunteers include David Slagle, James Newman, John Bandrofchak, Dick Owen, Dennis Davis, Susan Hart, TJ Costa, Joan Harper, Margaret Potorski, Todd Killalea, Doug Flick, and Cindy Jezerski.
David Slagle of Tennessee has accumulated 856 hours and 11 minutes since 2016. In 2021 he earned 471 hours and 36 minutes which ranks him #2 on the 2021 National USEA Volunteer of the Year leaderboard. David Slagle’s path to a bronze medal:
The 2020 USEA Volunteer of the Year, James Newman of Virginia, earned his bronze medal in 2021. He has recorded 764 hours and 24 minutes since 2016. To learn more about Newman, please click here. James Newman’s path to a bronze medal:
The Georgia resident, John Bandrofchak has accumulated 702 hours and 54 minutes. John Bandrofchak’s path to a bronze medal:
Dick Owen from Florida has logged in 596 hours and 38 minutes since 2016 to achieve his bronze medal. Dick Owen’s path to a bronze medal:
The Maryland resident, Dennis Davis has recorded 585 hours and 40 minutes to earn his bronze medal. Dennis Davis’s path to a bronze medal:
Susan Hart of Pennsylvania has recorded 557 hours and 15 minutes to earn her bronze medal in 2021. Susan Hart’s path to a bronze medal:
Another Pennsylvania resident, TJ Costa has recorded 556 hours and 24 minutes to earn her bronze medal. TJ Costa’s path to a bronze medal:
Like TJ Costa, Joan Harper has also recorded 556 hours. Harper of North Carolina has recorded 556 hours and 17 minutes to earn her bronze medal. Joan Harper’s path to a bronze medal:
Margaret Potorski of Massachusetts has recorded 537 hours and 26 minutes to earn her bronze medal. Margaret Potorski’s path to a bronze medal:
The California resident, Todd Killalea has accumulated 514 hours and 22 minutes to earn his bronze medal. Todd Killalea’s path to a bronze medal:
The third bronze medal volunteer from Pennsylvania is Doug Flick who has logged in 514 hours and 18 minutes to earn his bronze medal. Doug Flick’s path to a bronze medal:
Rounding out the 12 new bronze medal volunteers is Cindy Jezerski of Florida who has recorded 500 hours and 31 minutes to earn his bronze medal. Cindy Jezerski’s path to a bronze medal:
**These volunteers mentioned above will receive their bronze and silver medal awards in the mail in January 2021.
Congratulations to all the volunteers! The USEA looks forward to seeing you next year.
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 here to learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.
The USEA would like to thank Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Volunteer Incentive Program.
One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.