When tabling the Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal the USEA committed to establishing a task force to further review the proposal, make additional inquiries into related data, and analyze the extensive member input received. The task force has now been formed and will be chaired by Jonathan Elliott and consists of 10 members representing all 10 USEA Areas as well as at least eight advisors. Each of these task force members brings together a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives and each presented thoughtful perspectives on the initial Appendix 3 proposal. The task force will meet throughout the year in order to establish the rule change proposal to be submitted to US Equestrian (USEF) for consideration for the 2023 eventing season. The USEA will continue to keep all members informed of updates to the proposal when they become available.
Area I – Katherine Cooper
Katherine Cooper lives in Epping, New Hampshire, and is a licensed technical delegate, adult rider and runs a training program, attorney, and former USEA Board of Governor. She currently is chair of the USEA Nominating Committee and a member of the USEA Equine Medical Research and Legal Committees. Cooper previously served as a trustee of the USEA Foundation, represented the USEA on a USEF Equine Welfare Task Force, and as Area I Chair.
Area II – David Vos
David Vos lives in Delaplane, Virginia, and is a member of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee, an amateur eventer, and a highly experienced engineer. He holds a B.S. in Engineering with Honors in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, an M.S. in Dynamics and Control from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Estimation and Control from MIT, in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Vos is currently on the FEI Eventing Risk Management Safety Group committee, started and chaired previously by David O’Connor and currently chaired by Geoff Sinclair of Australia.
Area III – Lesley Grant-Law
Lesley Grant-Law is a five-star eventer who lives in Ocala, Florida where she runs a successful training business alongside her husband, Leslie Law, in addition to competing at the top levels of the sport. She currently sits on the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee as well as the USEA Young Event Horse Committee.
Area IV – John Staples
John Staples is a USEA Level III Certified Instructor based in Kechi, Kansas. Staples had a successful young rider career before finishing fifth at the Kentucky CCI5* and being named as an alternate to the 1998 Olympic team. In addition to his training career, he is a licensed cross-country course designer and organizer. Staples is currently a member of the USEA Board of Governors.
Area V – Siobhan O’Brien
Siobhan O’Brien lives in Bartonville, Texas, and is a member of the USEA Board of Governors. She served two terms as the Area V Chair, is a USEA Level I Certified Instructor, Competed through Intermediate as an Amateur and is an Owner/Trainer at Horselife Farm, where horses and riders of all ages and levels train.
Area V – Jacob Fletcher
Jacob Fletcher is a successful developing rider who is based in Cabot, Arkansas. He finished his degree from the University of Arkansas in 2016 and has focused on his riding, training, and sales business since. Fletcher spent a year based in England with Australian Eventer Kevin McNab to increase his experience.
Area VI – Bec Braitling
Bec Braitling is a five-star rider based out of Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California and is a USEA Level IV Certified Instructor. She coached the Area VI Young Riders and NAYC Eventing Team from 2017-2019.
Area VII – Jonathan Elliott (Task Force Chair)
Jonathan Elliott lives in Yelm, Washington where he owns Aspen Farms alongside his wife Suzy Elliott. They both competed through the five-star level before focusing on their training business and organizing events at Aspen Farms. Jonathan is currently the USEA Vice President of Competitions, Chair of the USEA Organizers Committee, the organizer representative to the USEA Area Affairs Committee, a member of the USEA Competitions, Calendar, and Rules and Strategic Planning Committees.
Area VIII – Michelle Koppin
Michelle Koppin lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is an amateur eventer who has competed through the three-star level. In addition, she is an owner for an upper-level competitor.
Area IX – Erin Contino, DVM
Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, Erin Contino, MS, DVM, Dipl. ACVSMR, is an Assistant Professor in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Colorado State University's (CSU) College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She is a graduate ‘A’ member of the United States Pony Club and is an amateur eventer currently competing at the Preliminary level.
Area X – Heather Drager
Heather Drager lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is currently the Area X Young Riders Chair. She is a full-time Physician’s Assistant and has competed through the three-star level.
Sarah Broussard lives in Kalispell, Montana, and is the organizer of The Event at Rebecca Farm in addition to her job as an EMT. She had a successful young rider eventing career and continues to be involved in the sport as the Chair of the USEA Rider Safety Subcommittee, member of the USEA Classic Three-Day Event Task Force, and the Area VII representative on the Organizers’ Committee. She is also a past USEA Board of Governors member.
Mary Coldren is the USEA Vice President of Safety and lives in West Grove, Pennsylvania. She is the event secretary for numerous events and is also the organizer for several high-profile events. Coldren currently sits on the Competitions, Calendar, and Rules Committee, is a member of the Eventing Riders Association of North America Committee, and is the Area II representative to the Organizers’ Committee.
Max Corcoran is the current USEA President and lives in Ocala, Florida. She grew up in Hamilton, Massachusetts, and graduated from Northeastern University before working in the financial industry for five years. She then became a professional groom and barn manager – working for the O’Connor Event Team for over 10 years. She continues to work as a freelance groom in addition to her work as an organizer and event competition manager.
Derek di Grazia
Derek di Grazia currently lives in Carmel Valley, California, and is one of the world’s premier cross-country course designers in addition to being a top-level eventer. He currently designs the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Burghley Horse Trials, the USEA American Eventing Championships, and is the course designer for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Di Grazia is a USEA Level IV Certified Instructor, co-chair of the USEA Eventing Course Designers/Builders Committee, and a member of the USEA Course Advisor Committee.
Jonathan Holling is a USEA Level IV Certified Instructor and five-star eventer currently living in Ocala, Florida. In addition to his successful eventing career, Holling is a former USEA Board of Governor and the current chair of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Committee. He is also the USEF National Safety Officer and spearheaded the fundraising for the Frangible Fence Fund.
Dr. Jennifer Miller
Dr. Jennifer Miller lives in Cave Creek, Arizona, and is a full-time equine veterinarian in addition to having an active amateur eventing career at the Training and Preliminary levels. She has been the Canadian Team Veterinarian at both Olympic and Pan American Games. Dr. Miller is currently on the USEA Board of Governors, chair of the USEA Equine Safety and Welfare Subcommittee, a member of the USEA Equine Medical Research Committee, and a member of the USEA Classic Three-Day Event Task Force.
Sean Murray is a data scientist at EquiRatings. Murray ensures all of EquiRatings’ work is based in quality research and implements scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems. Previously he worked as a consultant with Deloitte.
Sam Watson is the EquiRatings Chief of Strategy and co-founder. Sam leads EquiRatings’ product strategy and customer education. He is an elite eventer who has represented Ireland at numerous World Equestrian Games and European Championships and been ranked in the FEI World Rankings Top 10.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.