The United States is an increasingly diverse country, but equestrian sports do not reflect that reality. This can and should change. The “moonshot” idea conceptualized by five-star eventer and trainer Heather Gillette and historian Dr. Anastasia Curwood, along with United States Eventing High Performance rider Matthew Brown, Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is pleased to announce its official launch.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is an allyship program for the equestrian community and represents a first step towards addressing the lack of racial and ethnic diversity within equestrian sports. This organization hopes to partner with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the future to fully expand its vision.
The mission of Strides for Equality Equestrians is to promote a more inclusive culture within the horse world by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) within the equestrian community and educating its members about how to be an effective ally.
Recognizing that we must be the change we wish to see in the world, SEE will encourage riders to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight for equality and justice. Not quietly, not anonymously, but proudly and loudly. We all share a love of horses and the sport, and that shared commitment should bring us together. It can be uncomfortable to confront the bias and microaggressions that exist within our sport - but our strength lies in moving forward in open discussion, together.
Together, we will do our best to make allyship seen and heard. We will make equestrian sports accessible. We will encourage growth in understanding of issues that affect people of color. We will encourage empathy and inclusion. And we will make equestrian sports better for all.
The Strides for Equality Equestrians founding committee has determined that by (1) promoting a more inclusive culture and (2) creating equitable opportunities for BIPOC people we can increase the strength and diversity of the equestrian community.
Increase the visibility of both BIPOC members of the equestrian community and their allies.
Long Term Goals
Create Equitable Opportunities
Support equestrian programs that serve BIPOC individuals and communities through collaboration and fundraising (Detroit Horsepower, City Ranch in Baltimore, Compton Juniors, Work to Ride, Metropolitan Equestrian Team, etc.)
Create new pathways for BIPOC equestrians to become involved in equestrian sport and related industries by creating and institutionalizing internship, apprenticeship, and mentoring opportunities (riding, grooming, farrier, vet, course design & building, etc.)
Strides for Equality Equestrians will be led by a steering committee of predominantly BIPOC members of the equestrian community and active allies. The organization hopes to collaborate with similar initiatives in other equestrian sports to advance our mission across equestrian sport.
For further inquiries or to support Strides for Equality, please contact:
Media Relations: Sally Spickard - [email protected]
Sponsorship Inquiries: Catherine Reddick - [email protected]
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.