This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Eventing USA magazine and is an update on the activities of the Professional Horseman's Council. Click here to read Matt Brown's statement as incoming PHC Chair.
The Professional Horseman's Council (PHC) is composed of active members of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) who are professionals in all aspects of the sport of eventing. The purpose of the Council is to facilitate communications between the professionals and the eventing community, including the governing body, officials, organizers, and competitors and to assist in the further development, growth, and safety of our sport.
The PHC has taken action on several issues this year so far:
As horse welfare and safety is always at the top of our minds as professionals within the sport of eventing we have discussed how it could be possible to address issues that have arisen over the last year in relationship with the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) blood rules for eventing. After reviewing the current rules pertaining to blood on horses within both national and international competition we have made some recommended changes to the rules that we feel could solve some of the current issues. We have forwarded our recommendation to the appropriate committees responsible for making such changes. We know that the governing bodies for both the USEF and the FEI are currently reviewing the blood rules for the equestrian disciplines and we hope that our recommendation will be helpful to the effort to update the current rules.
Footing for the Future
With the long-term health and soundness of our equine partners in mind, we continue to discuss the ways in which we can help to facilitate the improvement of footing at eventing venues, especially on the cross-country. We are taking several different steps to do this:
We have discussed some concerns that have been raised by amateur riders where in some competition warmups professional riders can overwhelm the ring steward and pressure them into allowing the professional to ride at a different time other than their stated ride time. This mainly effects some show jumping warmups and more so in one-day competitions. This causes the other riders in the ring to not know when to start warming up and causes undue stress in the warmup area.
We have made a recommendation to the Licensed Officials Committee to give the show jumping ring stewards direct contact to the events Technical Delegate in order to report “bad behavior” in the warmup area at national competitions. We also recommended that riders with multiple horses work with the organizer and secretary in advance to make any necessary ride time changes in order for rider to stick to the set times as closely as possible.
We continue to take on new topics and issues as they are brought to our attention and we encourage anyone with an issue or question to contact any one of the PHC members.
The Professional Horseman’s Council current members:
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US Equestrian has announced the nomination of the following athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Eventing Team, as well as the Reserves for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Three direct reserve horses have also been named. A direct reserve horse would be an automatic replacement should the original horse on which an athlete was named need to be substituted.
A combination that can be found on almost every cross-country course starting at the Novice level is the coffin combination. As the levels go up, so does the difficulty of the coffin question. The distances become shorter, coffins become bigger, and the terrain becomes steeper - even the name itself sounds intimidating.
The dressage test is the first of the three phases in eventing. Intended to demonstrate "the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse," the dressage test contains a prescribed list of movements to be carried out in front of a judge, or judges, and which is then given a penalty score that horse and rider carry through to the end of the competition.
On Sunday, June 16, Molly Sullivan and Kate Swain were named the two winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award for Area IX at Golden Spike Horse Trials.