As 2019 comes to an end, it’s important to keep in mind the ones that made this competition year possible – the eventing volunteers. Since 2015, the USEA has recognized the tireless efforts of volunteers through the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP).
The official volunteer management system for VIP is www.eventingvolunteers.com and last year the website tracked a total of 30,521 volunteer hours and 2,197 volunteers. This year, a total of 45,059 hours and 3,046 volunteers have been recorded. That’s an increase of over 14,500 hours and 800 volunteers!
The VIP All-Time leaderboard was added in 2019, and Michael Smallwood sits on top with 701:27 approved hours. This new leaderboard tracks hours since December 1st, 2016, and since then it has recorded 94,733 hours and 4,964 volunteers.
The first ever USEA Volunteer of the Year was crowned in 2017 and that was Michael Smallwood with a total of 221:01 hours. The following year, in 2018, the USEA Volunteer of the Year was Vicki Reynolds with a total of 330:25 hours. Much like previous years, it will be a fight to the finish for who earns the ‘2019 USEA Volunteer of the Year’ title. Although this is a coveted national award, many hardworking volunteers earn crowns of their own as each area has a leaderboard that recognizes their top volunteers.
Area I Leaderboard
Area II Leaderboard
Area III Leaderboard
Area IV Leaderboard
Area V Leaderboard
Area VI Leaderboard
Area VII Leaderboard
Area VIII Leaderboard
Area IX Leaderboard
Area X Leaderboard
**Area Leaderboard information is current as of November 14, 2019.
This information is only inclusive of the USEA recognized events that use eventingvolunteers.com. All show organizers are encouraged to register their event as it’s FREE to all USEA recognized events, thanks to the VIP presenting sponsor Sunsprite Warmbloods. If a USEA recognized event in your Area does not use the application, please reach out to the organizer to encourage them to register.
The USEA and Volunteer Committee would like to encourage everyone to thank a volunteer. After all, they are the ones that keep the sport alive.
The VIP Program shall be limited to volunteers in the eventingvolunteers.com program; shall be limited to recognized events listed in or as part of the USEA Calendar; and shall exclude any person associated with the event that is named as an administrator in the program or given access to change, add, or subtract hours volunteered by themselves or others. Also excluded from the program are officials, regardless of whether paid or not, if they are performing an official duty (including but not limited to technical delegate, judge, ground jury member, etc.). It is the intention of the VIP committee to reward the “boots on the ground” volunteers and offer hours-tracking directly supporting the running of the events themselves, as long as no financial compensation takes place.
At the end of each competition year, the leadership of the VIP Committee will review the volunteer hours submitted.
In efforts to recognize the dedication, commitment, and hard work that volunteers put into eventing, USEA formed the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) in 2015. In 2017, an online management portal was designed for volunteers, organizers, and coordinators at EventingVolunteers.com (available as an app for iOS and Android).Volunteer incentives include national and area recognition, year-end awards with ribbons, cash prizes, trophies, a top ten USEA Volunteer leaderboard, and a Volunteer of the Year award which is given to the volunteer who accumulates the most volunteer hours over the USEA competition year. Click here to learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.
The USEA would like to thank Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Volunteer Incentive Program.
The 21 members of the USEA Board of Governors represent all the different factions of the U.S. eventing community, including professional riders, adult amateurs, owners, organizers, officials, veterinarians, and more. There is a president, one representative for each of the 10 USEA Areas, and the remaining 10 represent the demographics of the sport.
Sired by Zabalu and out of Croftlea Firequeen (by the well-known Irish Sport Horse sire Kingcroft Wicklow), the New Zealand Thoroughbred Flintstar was bred by Raewyn Price at Croftlea Stud in North Canterbury, New Zealand and born in 2000.
The USEA is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Steve Blauner, a valued USET Foundation trustee and longtime owner for U.S. Eventing Team High Performance Athletes Boyd Martin and Doug Payne.
To all of the enthusiastic equestrians out there, five-star eventer Sara Gumbiner says, “dream even bigger.” Aboard her longtime partner Polaris (Brandenburg’s Windstar x North River Lady), Gumbiner has transitioned from daring young rider to bold international competitor. Fueled by hard work, a great support system, and a knack for ending up exactly where she should, Gumbiner went from competing in her first recognized event to her first Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5* in just eight years.