Nov 23, 2019

The 2019 Report: VIP by the Numbers

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

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

  • 1,601 hours, 140 volunteers, 11 events
  • · Top volunteer: Margaret Potorski (MA) with 96:11 hours. *Margaret Potorski was also Area I’s top volunteer in 2018 with 62:55 hours

Area II Leaderboard

  • 15,019 hours, 979 volunteers, 50 events
  • Top volunteer: Paige Ervin (MD) with 268:41 hours

Area III Leaderboard

  • 7,181 hours, 370 volunteers, 44 events
  • Top volunteer: Diane Bird (SC) with 225:15 hours. *Diane Bird has a combined total of 292:46 hours between Area II and Area III.

Area IV Leaderboard

  • 1,120 hours, 92 volunteers, 9 events
  • Top volunteer: Michelle Keene (WI) with 95:45 hours

Area V Leaderboard

  • 731 hours, 77 volunteers, 7 events
  • · Top volunteer: Don Slottke with 43:28 hours. *Don Slottke was also Area V’s top volunteer in 2018 with 65:01 hours.

Area VI Leaderboard

  • 2,838 hours, 236 volunteers, 20 events
  • Top volunteer: Tracie Combs (CA) with 153:51 hours

Area VII Leaderboard

  • 3,752 hours, 270 volunteers, 9 events
  • Top volunteer: Katie Holmes (WA) with 148:25 hours

Area VIII Leaderboard

  • 10,863 hours, 846 volunteers, 9 events
  • Top volunteer: John Marshall (FL) with 153:00 hours

Area IX Leaderboard

  • 37 hours, 6 volunteers, 3 events
  • Top volunteer: Shallary Guymon (UT) with 9:00 hours

Area X Leaderboard

  • 323 hours, 39 volunteers, 2 events
  • Top volunteer: Jana Flagler with 52:18 hours

**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.

VIP Eligibility

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.

About the Volunteer Incentive Program

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.

Dec 14, 2019 Convention

Year End Awards Presented at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

Every year the eventing community comes together to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of its members at the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Annual Meeting & Convention Year End Awards Ceremony. Led by Master of Ceremonies Jim Wofford, the awards ceremony is one of the most anticipated events of Convention and gives eventers the opportunity to celebrate their successes with their family and friends.

Dec 14, 2019 Education

VIDEO: Why Aren't U.S. Event Horses Lasting Longer

Over the previous decade, the number of upper level event horses that remain at the highest levels of the sport for extended periods of time has anecdotally been dwindling. Also, it is rare to see horses return to represent the U.S. on international teams. This discussion features statistics provided by the USEA and EquiRatings to strengthen our understanding of this issue and perspectives from coaches, trainers, riders, grooms, and veterinary professionals on the possible reasons and solutions.

Dec 14, 2019 Convention

Changing of the Guard at the USEA Annual Meeting of Members

For 60 years the members of the USEA have been coming together to discuss the business of the Association and make important decisions to keep the sport of eventing thriving in America. The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention has turned into four days full of meetings and more, but the Annual Meeting remains the backbone.

Dec 14, 2019 Education

VIDEO: Cultivating the Whole Equestrian

The focus of this presentation is mindfulness practice, how it ties into the core principles of mindset, fitness, nutrition, and community, and how these topics foster optimal performance in and out of the saddle. As equestrians, we invest a lot of time and energy making sure that our horses are in their best shape to compete and in doing so we often sweep our own needs to the side.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Riding Helmet of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA