Jul 07, 2021

The VIP Volunteer: Gary Snyder

Photo's Courtesy of Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder has been involved with horses for the past 50 years. “We had horses when I was a kid, so it’s been about 50 years,” recalled Snyder. “He married me almost 47 years ago, and he got me, an old dog, and a horse, and we have been in horses ever since!” added Snyder’s wife, Colleen.

Snyder is located in Tyler, Texas, Area 5, where he and Colleen own and operate a commercial farm. For about ten to twelve years now, Snyder has been actively volunteering at events for the USEA.

“We were up at the Texas Rose one time, and one of the managers up there called Colleen and asked if she knew anyone that could scribe,” described Snyder. “Colleen said that I probably could, and the manager went on to explain that they just had one of their judges fire their scribe because he was writing down what he wanted, not what the judge wanted. And that’s how I got started!”

Over the years, Snyder has done several different volunteer positions, but startbox is definitely his favorite. “I’ve been startbox, I’ve scribed, I like sit-down jobs because my feet are old, and I’ve been steward,” commented Snyder. “My goal in startbox is to give everyone a blue ribbon. What they do with that after they leave my start box is up to them. The nice thing about the start box is that your life is easy if you get a good steward. Also, being in startbox allows you to meet everybody.”

Additionally, Snyder in charge of providing home-cooked meals when his students attend a show. “He's the chief cook for our show team. He does all of the cooking,” described Colleen.

“We just had a show, and I made everything from steak to chicken to blackberry cobbler,” commented Snyder. “I do a pretty good job too!”

Snyder is always happy to give back to the eventing community and his local Area. “Majority of the eventing community is made up of really nice people,” said Snyder. “I’ve made some terrific friends over the years. I also like that everything is so scheduled in eventing. It makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable for everyone.”

Besides interacting with the eventing community, Snyder emphasized how important volunteers are to lower the cost of horse showing and allow more people to participate.

“It keeps the cost down so that [our students] can afford to do it,” explained Snyder. “I read or heard something several years ago that it would be a lot more expensive per entry if not for volunteers. It’s also something for me to do. Again, I get to meet everybody, and I’ve made a lot of friends over the years.”

About the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport, the unsung heroes, and the people who make it possible to keep the sport alive. 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 volunteer 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, and trophies, a top ten USEA Volunteer leaderboard, and a Volunteer of the Year award which is given to the volunteer who tops the leaderboard by accumulating 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.



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US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.

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AEC Countdown: Less Than 100 Days!

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May 23, 2022 News

USEA Podcast #310: The Season So Far

USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.

May 22, 2022

Auburn University Demonstrates Talent and Spirit to Win 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.

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