Dec 11, 2021

The USEA Gets Down to Business at the Annual Meeting of Members

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

When the United States Eventing Association (USEA) was formed in 1959 (then the United States Combined Training Association) the by-laws required the members to come together every December to conduct the business of the Association. What was then just an annual meeting has turned into four days of meetings and fun during the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, however, the Annual Meeting of Members is still the centerpiece of the weekend.

USEA President Max Corcoran opened the meeting and invited Secretary Sharon Anthony to the podium to establish a quorum and approve the minutes from the 2020 Annual Meeting.

Corcoran then took the microphone back over to deliver her president’s report.

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do – and who tougher than eventers,” said Corcoran. “It’s so good to see you all here in person. And I know that there are many that are watching that wish they could be here, but soon enough we will all be together again.”

Corcoran touched on the highlights of the year including the Maryland 5 Star, Young Event Horse Championships, AEC, ICP, Emerging Athletes, Safety Committee, and more. She also gave a mention to the organizers and the difficulty they face.

“Venues are precious – once we lose a venue, we rarely get it back. Many areas in this country – there are many, many miles and weeks between events – when you lose one, it creates a ripple effect. Thank you to all that own and operate the venues. So, then we need to have a think, is there a correlation between the loss of venues and the increase of fees that we see at each event. What can we do to help with costs both for the venue and the consumer?”

Following her report, Corcoran introduced Vice President of Administration and Finance Eric Markell who gave the report of the treasurer.

“In 2020 COVID-19 delivered to us many setbacks, but as we began 2021 we were cautious and we continued our programs of education and safety,” said Markell. Such uncertainty in the shadow of 2020 caused us serious concerns and our ability to sustain the organization with the prospect of so much loss revenues. Fortunately, we received two government loans to tide us over and they have both been forgiven. U.S. taxpayers have become an equity investor in the USEA!”

The audited 2020 financials can be viewed here.

USEA CEO Rob Burk then asked the members to ratify the actions of the Board.You have just heard the reports of the president, secretary, and treasurer. Pursuant to our status as a nonprofit organization and in accordance with our bylaws, we ask at this meeting each year for the membership to ratify the routine actions of the Board of Governors. May I have a motion from the floor to so ratify?” The motion passed and the actions were ratified.

Burk presented an update of the year and appreciation to the staff. Some highlights of his presentation included:

  • The USEA has reduced expenses by $100,000 and staffing levels remain at 17 (one lower than 2020)
  • Education: A complete update of the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) was made. 38 officials attended training programs, 14 prospective officials attended their final exam, and 60 prospective officials are working toward licensure.
  • Competitions: 227 competitions were held in 2021 with 40,250 competition results. 135 calendar modifications were made. 245 competitions are scheduled for 2022. Eight rule changes proposed by the USEA were ratified by the USEF.
  • Safety: 375 fences were built through the USEA Foundation Frangible Technology Fund. Certified 192 Safety Coordinators to date. Several safety-related rules took effect including: Cross-country CD can stop dangerous riding, Compulsory Retirement Penalty, frangible devices – updated standards, mandatory yellow card and penalty when a rider refuses to be examined after a fall.
  • Media: 6,604,880 website views, over 59,000 followers on Instagram and 92,000 likes on Facebook, 34,000 subscribers to weekly e-newsletter, 52,000 downloads of USEA Official Podcast in 2021, USEA Olympic Coverage reached 1.5 million people, Eventing USA won first place in its category at the 2021 American Horse Publication Equine Media Awards.
  • Membership: Registered 12,489 members. Launched ERQI Amber List distribution. Supported competitions with SafeSport checks, along with USEF number verifications. Continued the popular USEA Awards programs. International members down by 128. Record year for members registered in Young Rider Program (two Areas broke records for the number of participants). Adult Rider membership recovered from 2020 and Adult Rider membership is higher than the previous four years. A record 58 Adult Team Championship teams at AEC.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): USEA Foundation developed a DEI fund with Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) to support allyship and educational opportunities for BIPOC Equestrians. New grant and award offerings through SEE. Moving forward with a Para-Eventing Task Force. Developing acknowledgments of indigenous land and BIPOC history.
  • Programs: 2021 AEC had 1,200 entries and just under 1,000 starters (the largest event in North American history). There were 18 Classic Three-Day divisions held, including two events running the new Modified Classic Three-Day. West Coast and Central Future Event Horse Championships broke records. Largest Intercollegiate Championships on record with 29 teams from 15 schools (105 starters). Interscholastic Program had 82 teams, 37 team challenges (in all Areas), and 480 IEL members in 2021.
  • IT Services: In 2021 18,218 completed paid Xentries, 48,393 electronic signatures, and 10,183 Electronic Non-Compete Participant Waivers. New USEA point system, new leaderboard format, ShowConnect project - A community-focused event management system, ERQI safety report, pilot program for online registrations for Area clinics, camps, annual meetings, and online activity waiver forms
  • Volunteers: Volunteer of the Year, Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes (most hours in a single year since the creation of the VIP program in 2017). The second year of the VIP Medal program awarded 2 Silver Medal volunteers (1,000 hours each) and 19 Bronze Medal volunteers (500 volunteer hours each).
  • USEA Foundation: Launched the: Strides for Equality Equestrians Fund, Tremaine Cooper Memorial Fund, and Packy Prize. Raised over $500,000 in the fiscal year 2021 including over $200,000 for the Frangible Technology Fund.

Corcoran took the podium back over to present the 2021 USEA Governors’ Cups. “The USEA Governors’ Cups are among the highest honors given by the USEA Board of Governors. Presented annually to in recognition of volunteers whose services have contributed significantly to the sport these are meant to highlight the best among us,” said Corcoran.

The 2021 Governors’ Cup Recipients are:

Jonathan Holling accepts the Manton Foundation Governors' Cup on their behalf. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The Manton Foundation for their generosity in providing a matching grant for the USEA Frangible Technology Fund.

Rob Burk presents Governors' Cups to Sara Kozumplik and Lynn Symansky. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Sara Kozumplik, Lynn Symansky, and Dorothy Crowell for leading the grassroots efforts to save the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event from cancellation. “Their tireless efforts to generate donations ultimately led to hundreds of thousands of dollars committed to the event, and even more security for the event in the future. All three of these women also work tirelessly in support of the sport in numerous areas including in young rider development, diversity, equity, and inclusion and as leaders of our sport,” said Corcoran

Diane Pitts and Rob Burk. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Diane Pitts, past USEA President, current Chair of the USEA Foundation, and USEF Board Member.

Laura Borghesani and Rob Burk. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Laura Borghesani, a manager and trainer and Carefree Farms, equine therapist, young horse trainer, and tireless volunteer for Area X.

Debra Dealcuaz was honored with a Governors' Cup and as outgoing USEA Foundation Trustee. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Debra Dealcuaz, a stalwart supporter of USEA Area V, the USEA, and countless other roles within the sport including as a licensed official, and a rider.

Dealcuaz remained on stage to be honored as an outgoing USEA Foundation Trustee.

Outgoing Area Chairs with Rob Burk. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Corcoran also thanked outgoing Area Chairs: Stephanie Reimers (Area V), Asia Vedder (Area VI), and Kristi Radosevich (Area IX).

As chair of the USEA Nominating Committee, Cathy Wieschhoff was invited to the podium to give the 2022 nominating report and introduce the nominees for the USEA Board of Governors:

  • Area IV - Cynthia Wiseman (three-year term)
  • Area VI - Teresa Harcourt (three-year term)
  • Area VII - Erin Thomson (three-year term)
  • Area IX - Deeda Randle (three-year term)
  • At Large - Sharyn Antico (three-year term)
  • At Large - Louise Leslie (three-year term)
  • At Large - Rusty Lowe (three-year term)
  • At Large - Yvonne Ocrant (three-year term)

Corcoran called for further nominations and none were made. Sharon Anthony made a motion to elect the slate as a whole and Wieschhoff seconded it. The vote was held and the slate was elected.

The nominees for the USEA Foundation were then announced:

  • Eric Markell (three-year term)
  • Vicki Howard-Fine (three-year term reappointment)
  • Alston Kerr (three-year term reappointment)

The Board of Governors took a brief recess and upon returning Wieschhoff reported that “The Board of Governors also unanimously elected the USEA officers for 2022 as well as the trustees of the USEA Foundation.”

The 2022 USEA Officers will be:

  • Max Corcoran: President
  • Louise Leslie: President-Elect
  • Sharon Anthony: Secretary
  • Rusty Lowe: VP Safety
  • Sharyn Antico: VP Competitions
  • Brian Murray: VP Administration and Finance/Treasurer
  • Lauren Nicholson: VP Active Athletes
  • Deeda Randle: VP Area Affairs
  • John Marshall: VP Membership & Program Development
  • Jerry Schurink: VP Education
Rob Burk and Max Corcoran honor the outgoing Board members. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

“I would like to ask all of the following Board members to step forward to be honored for their service,” continued Corcoran. “Each of these members is stepping away from the Board in 2022. Denise Dailey-Thomas, Eric Markell, and Jonathan Elliott. I am well aware of the hours of conference calls, countless hours reading and studying, as well as your overall dedication to supporting our sport and this Association. Thank you all so much for your service. I would also like to recognize the following outgoing Board members who are unable to join us in person today Darrin Mollet, Dawn Scott, Cynthia Bayles, and Mary Coldren. I know they are watching this remotely and I sincerely thank you all for your service.”

Dr. Mark Revenaugh. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Following the adjournment of the Annual Meeting, Corcoran introduced the keynote speaker Dr. Mark Revenaugh. The video of his full keynote address will be available to watch on the USEA website.

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About the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 9-12, 2021. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

The USEA would like to thank the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Sponsors: Adequan, Bates Saddles, Gallops Saddlery, Mountain Horse USA, Nunn Finer, Nutrena, Parker Equine Insurance, RevitaVet, Rebecca Farm, SmartPak Equine, Standlee Premium Western Forage, D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Sunsprite Warmbloods, World Equestrian Brands, Area X, and Saratoga Horseworks.

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How Foxhunting Paved Melanie Smith’s Path Up the Levels of Eventing

“I always say that my secret weapon out competing is bad weather and bad footing,” said Melanie Smith. Though the Georgia-based rider is a competitor by nature, having completed three 50K Ultramarathons, it was a non-competitive sport that made the most profound impact on where she is today. Decades of foxhunting taught her to trust her horse, fine-tune her cross-country skills, and navigate tricky conditions.

May 25, 2024 Eventing News

Caitlin Silliman: The Roller Coaster World of Eventing

As both an eventer and business owner, Caitlin Silliman is well aware of the need for a solid team behind her. Not only has she had supportive family and friends cheering her on, she has ridden and worked under top-notch professionals such as Susie Beale and Silva and Boyd Martin, and now runs her business side by side with her good friend and fellow eventer Erin Kanara at Erin’s farm in Pennsylvania, the state Caitlin has always called home.

May 24, 2024 AEC

Three Months Until the Start of the 20th Anniversary USEA American Eventing Championships

The 2024 United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds is just over three months away, which means it is time to start planning your trip to Lexington, Kentucky! For the second year in a row, the AEC, which is brought to you by the USEA and its organizing partners at Equestrian Events, Inc and Mary Fike, will return to the iconic Kentucky Horse Park from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1.

May 24, 2024 News

Athletux Signs on as Bronze Sponsor for 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is pleased to announce Athletux as a “Bronze Level Sponsor for the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)” taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 27- Sept. 1. Athletux will also be the “Official Commentary Provider” at the AEC, offering commentary for the upper levels at the event. All levels of the AEC will be live streamed.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA