The 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is all about officials, with a number of sessions being offered throughout the weekend that focus on matters pertaining specifically to our licensed officials, without whom events could not take place. Encompassing our eventing judges, technical delegates, and course designers, the eventing officials provide a safe and fair field of play for all.
As the focus of this year's Convention, sessions this weekend focus on a range of topics from problem-solving, preceptors, and application process to innovations coming down the pipeline and rule changes. Read on for a taste of Friday's sessions!
Problem Solving: Reason, Response, Recommendation, and Resolution for Officials
Cindy Deporter led a session focused on providing problem-solving tools for organizers. A varied panel of speakers including Loris Henry, John Michael Durr, Gretchen Butts, Tim Murray, and Marilyn Payne helped to answer questions about specific scenarios and engaged in short role-playing sessions to demonstrate potential scenarios and how best to respond.
The takeaways were that remaining calm, making sure the difficult or unreasonable person feels their complaint is being heard and understood, and being solution-based are some of the best tools an official can use when solving problems.
Step-by-Step: How to Become an Official
USEF Director of Licensed Officials Alina Brazzil led a presentation detailing the different types of licenses, the separate responsibilities of the USEA and USEF in the licensing process, and the requirements for obtaining the different types of licenses. Following the presentation, the session panel of Sally Ike, John Michael Durr, Wayne Quarles, Loris Henry, Tim Murray, and Marilyn Payne fielded questions from the audience about training sessions and deadlines for 2019, where different resources can be found, and specifics about completing the licensing process.
Cross-Country Course Design for the Future
James Atkinson led a panel including course designers Captain Mark Phillips, John Michael Durr, Gretchen Butts, Morgan Rowsell, and Cathy Wieschhoff in a discussion about the responsibilities of the course designer and the many factors that influence course design. Atkinson began by stating that course designers are horsemen first and are constantly thinking about how every part of the course will affect the horse. Captain Phillips said, “Our job is to educate the horses . . . We must not go down the road of making courses more difficult.”
The panel educated attendees on how the horse’s vision works and provided examples of how designers use decoration to help the horse see all four corners of the fence. There was discussion of different ways the course designers take the horse’s vision limitations (blind spot, dichromatic vision, ability to adjust to different lighting conditions, etc.) into account. The conversation then turned to terrain, covering how and why designers use terrain and how they use it to influence how the horse sees a fence. They explained how the horse’s balance and stride length relate to the degree of slope. Finally, Morgan Rowsell talked about some of the factors that influence the decision about where to employ frangible technology and the new technology that is in the pipeline.
Course Designers/Builders Open Forum
The Course Design for the Future session flowed easily into the Course Designers/Builders Open Forum with Morgan Rowsell, James Atkinson, John Michael Durr, and Captain Mark Phillips. Rowsell continued his discussion of frangible technology, explaining the combination of reverse pinning and MIM clips that is becoming more prevalent. Other topics of discussion during the session included fence flagging, safety, fence-building materials, and more.
A number of other open forum sessions took place today for volunteers, organizers, evening affiliates, and the USEA Classic Series and Young Event Horse programs.
Volunteer Committee Open Forum
Hylofit USEA Classic Series Open Forum
Organizer's Open Forum
YEH Through the Riders' Eyes
Eventing Affiliates Open Forum
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About the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention
The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 6-9, 2018. Visit the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention page to stay up to date on news, announcements, and details.
The USEA would like to thank Adequan, Devoucoux, Nutrena, Charles Owen, Standlee Hay, Merck Animal Health, SmartPak, Mountain Horse, Parker Equine Insurance, Rebecca Farm, Auburn Laboratories, Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Nunn Finer, World Equestrian Brands, Gallops Saddlery, Revitavet, CWD, H.E. Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, Trio Safety CPR + AED Solutions, Equestrian Athlete Camps at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, and Hylofit for sponsoring the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
It's been a long road, but we've finally arrived at the end! In June of 2017, the USEA undertook a project - to tell the story of each of the currently active USEA recognized events, starting at the beginning of the alphabet and working our way all the way through to the end. Now, more than three years later, we've reached the final event on our list.
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This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).