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.
The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place later this month at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. across May 27-30. Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, the USEA is working with VHT organizer Andy Bowles to ensure the Championships are still a destination competition for all Intercollegiate event riders, packed full with an opening ceremony, the traditional “college town” area, the prestigious spirit award, and an abundance of prizes.
The FEI passed rule changes impacting Minimum Eligibility Requirements in November 2020 that go into effect on July 1, 2021. The changes will impact athletes who are uncategorized, “D” and “C” athletes competing at the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCI5*-L levels. Please see below for the highlighted changes. The USEF requirements to compete at these levels remain unchanged, but please remember that the USEF requirements must be achieved within 12 months of the competition. These changes will be adopted into the USEF Eventing Rulebook by July 1. See Appendix 3 for qualification requirements.
Beginning May 17, 2021, USEF will implement new protocols regarding the use of face coverings/masks at USEF-licensed competitions in response to recently updated CDC recommendations. Please click here to access the full amendments to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan protocols.
Nicole Brown is joined this week by Irish World Equestrian Games silver medalist Sam Watson as they discuss the road to a successful cross-country round. They cover your basic training at home before your event, what you do when you get to the event and are walking the course, warming-up, visualization, and finally how to tackle the course. This podcast is full of words of wisdom from Sam that will keep you listening to the very end so tune in now!