The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) has initiated a renewed focus on the diverse challenges coaches in various regions of the country may be facing. To this end, the program is in the process of enlisting representatives in each of the 10 USEA areas to help guide the program as warranted for the unique needs of each specific area.
In August 2023, the ECP requested and received the USEA Board of Governors’ approval to create an ECP representative position in every area. Many areas already have an educational representative on their Area Council, and many of these volunteer representatives are already actively involved in helping coaches access the benefits of the ECP in their areas. Other areas either have recently appointed or are in the process of appointing representatives to fill that role.
Here is the current list of the Eventing Coaches Program Area Representatives:
Area I Bevin O’Reilly Dugan
Area II TBD
Area III Brittany Ezzard
Area IV Liz Lind and Brigitte Kettell
Area V Lynda Lewis
Area VI Bec Braitling
Area VII Katie Peet Walker Bystrom
Area VIII Cathy Weischhoff
Area IX Laura Backus
Area X Shawn Ortiz
The goal is to assist coaches regionally to access the program, keep them informed about the activities and benefits of the certification program, and for the ECP committee and Faculty to glean information and feedback from different areas of the country such that they may better serve and support coaches in each area.
The ECP committee understands that riders and coaches from different areas of the country are experiencing different challenges. There are geographical challenges unique to some of our largest areas, where it may be hundreds of miles to the nearest coach or to the next competition.
There is the challenge of riders finding qualified coaching and instruction, or in some of the more saturated regions of the country, the challenge can be choosing the coach who best fits the rider’s goals. In those Areas outside of the eventing “hubs,” which represent most of the country, there are serious challenges for coaches in obtaining opportunities for mentorship, networking, and professional development. There is no question that the input and feedback from our Area Representatives will positively impact our planning in the near term and for the future.
This is a volunteer position, as are all the Area Council positions. The ECP Rep does not have to be a voting member of the Council, nor does it necessarily need to be held by a Certified Coach. Anyone within the Area who is interested in the ECP, including current council members, can hold the position. The Area ECP representative should be familiar with the program, how it works, and what the program can offer area coaches; in short, be an advocate for both the program and for their area coaches.
Some initial ideas of how an Area representative might serve their coaches through the program might be:
The ECP Area Representative is uniquely positioned to help grow the ECP program. It is hoped that by empowering these representatives to reach out to local coaches and develop an Area network, they in turn are best able to develop strategies for bringing the benefits of certification to a wider group of participants.
The benefits of obtaining certification as an Eventing Coach are numerous and important to a coach’s personal growth and enrichment. Attaining certification as an eventing coach is a way many coaches choose to support the “big picture” of eventing as an Olympic sport. Coaches may seek certification for may varied reasons:
The ECP committee will be reaching out to all Area representatives to participate in periodic group Team meetings; to exchange ideas and develop policies which will best serve the needs of eventing coaches in every area of the United States.
Watch this space for more information as this regionally focused initiative unfolds.
About the USEA Eventing Coaches Program
Instructors are essential to the training of riders and horses for safe and educated participation in the sport of eventing. The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) was initiated in 2002 to educate all levels of eventing instructors with essential training principles upon which those instructors can continue to build throughout their teaching careers. ECP offers educational workshops and assessments by which both regular instructors, Level I through Level IV, Young Event Horse (YEH) instructors, and Young Event Horse professional horse trainers can become ECP certified. Additional information about ECP’s goals, benefits, workshops, and assessments as well as names and contact information for current ECP-certified instructors, YEH instructors, and YEH professional horse trainers are available is available on the USEA website. Click here to learn more about the Eventing Coaches Program.
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.