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.
If you’re like most riders you’ve probably heard someone say something like, “Your last mistake is your best teacher,” or “if you’re doing everything right you’re doing something wrong because you’re in your comfort zone.” While I agree whole-heartedly with these sentiments, I actually prefer, “Equestrians don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make equestrians.” They make us bolder, braver, and brighter; but only when we develop a positive relationship with our mistakes and respond to them in productive ways.
Up-and-coming eventing athlete Tommy Greengard of Malibu, California, was named the recipient of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant for 2024. A current competitor on the U.S. Equestrian Federation's (USEF) Eventing Emerging Program List, Greengard has aspirations of representing the United States internationally.
Bethany Hutchins-Kristen headed into 2023 with hopes of earning the SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year award for a second year in a row on her homebred Geluk HVF, and after a stellar season, including a top-10 finish at the TerraNova CCI2*-L (Myakka City, Florida), she took home the top prize with an 18-point lead.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.