The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is excited to introduce Rob Burk as the newest member of its professional staff working at the organization’s headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia. Rob joins the USEA in the newly created position of Senior Director of Programs. In this capacity he will work in tandem with the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Governors, and colleagues to further expand the association’s current competition programs as well as aid in the design and implementation of new programs. Rob joins the USEA with 10 + years working in the public sector as an Executive Director, Administrator, and Senior Advisor. He has also worked as an independent equestrian professional, and has evented for most of his life with notable success as a Young Rider in California.
Prior to accepting his current position Rob worked as an Executive Director and Senior Advisor with the United States Department of Agriculture, and of a Governor appointed equine advisory board based within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Maryland Horse Industry Board. In that capacity he provided equine industry related advice and guidance to three Secretaries of Agriculture and two Governors. Upon leaving his position with the State of Maryland he was officially recognized by Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Earl F. Hance for his "excellent leadership, effective management, and unwavering commitment to the equine industry." Rob also has the unique distinction of having coached the United States Naval Academy Equestrian Team in its inaugural seasons.
USEA members from the Northeast, West Coast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic can all consider Rob one of their own as he has lived, and ridden in all four areas. He is a native of New York but was raised primarily in California. He spent some time as a young working student in Ireland with the late Captain David Foster, graduated from Otterbein University in Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies, and earned a Master of Science degree from Virginia Tech with a focus on Equine Nutrition. He has lived in Maryland for the past decade.
Rob, a graduate H-A Pony Clubber, attributes much of his success to his upbringing through Pony Club and his trainers and mentors based in California, Ohio, and Maryland. Rob is married to Dr. Amy Burk, an Associate Professor with the University of Maryland – Equine Studies Program and has 2 young daughters.
After a one-year gap, eventers from all over are ready to gather together and engage in four days of seminars, presentations, and gatherings at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention. This year’s convention begins Thursday morning at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel and continues through the weekend.
Over 40 horses competed in the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) 5-year-old East and West Coast Championships in 2015. The YEH East Coast Championships were held during the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland, while the YEH West Coast Championships took place at Galway Downs in Temecula, California. Following 2015’s YEH finale, many of the graduating class of the 2015 USEA Young Event Horse Championships have gone on to make their mark on the upper levels of eventing.
Nicole Brown is joined by a panel of experts including top FEI veterinarian Dr. Emily Sandler-Burtness, five-star eventer Will Faudree, and professional eventer and horsemanship expert Tik Maynard to answer all of your biggest questions.
I’d like to start my Holiday Pressure Proof Tip with an excerpt from my new book Bolder Braver Brighter.
"Imagine leaning against a tree while your horse grazes happily beside you. You feel the warm sunshine and breeze on your cheek, hear the chirping of nearby birds, and smell the fragrance of the grass and wildflowers. Your horse nickers quietly and all you can think about is how lucky you are to have this horse and this sport and this life… right here, right now.