Mar 08, 2024

The VIP Volunteer: Jim Moyer Earns 2023 USEA Volunteer of the Year Award

By Lindsay Berreth - USEA Staff
Jim Moyer was the USEA's top volunteer of 2023. Kim F. Miller/The West Equestrian photo

While not an eventer himself, Jim Moyer has been involved in the eventing community for five decades through his late wife, instructor Jean Moyer.

When Jean died in 2020, Jim continued volunteering in the sport to stay busy in retirement and stay connected to the community he loves.

In 2023, Jim clocked in just over 687 hours in his home area of Area VI and Area VI, which earned him the 2023 USEA Volunteer of the Year award.

“I would travel with [Jean] to a lot of the events and help out and volunteer,” he said. “When she passed, I had been retired, and this is something that keeps me away from home, so I don't have to sit around and watch TV. I'm not a bowler or a golfer; I just enjoy being around the horses and the people, so it's my opportunity to help out.”

Jim, Gig Harbor, Washington, volunteered at 10 events last year, including Aspen Farms, Ram Tap, Galway Downs, and Twin Rivers.

He travels in his motorhome with his dog and spends up to two weeks helping prep for events and then volunteering during them.

He’ll help stain jumps, prep cross-country courses, paint poles, get stalls ready for overnight competitors, and put up sponsor signs.

During events, he’s helped with parking, greeting competitors, stewarding for dressage and show jumping, and cross-country jump judging.

“I truly enjoy jump judging, just because it's kind of a relaxing,” he said. “And because I've been staining and working all week, it's kind of a relaxing task to just sit back and watch the horses go by. I enjoy the ring stewarding and greeting people. You get to see friends, and the competitors, they’ve just driven for 10 hours, and they're tired and cranky, and they just don't want to do anymore. So, it's nice to be able to offer them a water or a piece of candy and get them to relax and know that they’re finally at their final destination.”

Jim recommends that everyone give volunteering a try, especially young people since you can learn so much about the sport and the rules as you do it.

“If they volunteer for one level of cross country, and they do the briefing in the morning, they can learn about the rules. And then when they're out on the course, if they're watching another level, they can learn just by watching how the upper-level riders approach a jump,” he said. “I'm not quite sure why a lot more people don't volunteer. There are some of the events that do really well. They always have volunteers. I know some of the events I’m going to, you end up judging three or four jumps because they don't have enough judges to fulfill all the jumps.”

He added that many events he volunteers at have great swag, such as shirts, hats, and jackets, and other incentives.

“Down in California, they have programs where they almost actually pay the riders that volunteer,” he said. “You put in so many hours, and you'll get a certificate towards your next event that you can use for the competition, or you can use it for buying merchandise. They even have where a barn can sign up as a group, and the group that does the most volunteer hours wins VIP stabling at the next competition.”

While Jim’s goal was to top the VIP leaderboard this year, he’s always volunteered for the camaraderie and community of eventers.

“It’s always been a sport of companionship,” he said. “Everybody roots for everybody else. In the sport there's a lot of camaraderie. You go to these to the events, and groups are always having potlucks or helping each other out. There’s a lot of horses that my wife helped pick out for clients, so I like to follow them and the progress that they're making. I love the sport, so for me, I'll always be volunteer.”

The VIP Volunteer Column is brought to you by:

About Mrs. Pastures Cookes for Horses

Founded in 1986 by California horsewoman Patricia Burge, Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses began with the goal of creating a wholesome, delicious treat for a greatly beloved, yet very fastidious horse. Over the next three decades, the family-owned company became a tremendous success — known nationwide for their great taste, simple ingredients, and highly recognizable, red-lidded jars.

35 years later, Alltech proudly acquired the Mrs. Pastures business, with the intent of building upon the success of the company’s original recipe and expanding the product line to meet the ever-evolving needs of the equine industry and horse lovers everywhere.

With an enduring commitment to nourishing the bond between horses and their humans, Mrs. Pastures cookies often serve as everything from a positive reinforcement-based horse training incentive to a simple reward for a job well-done. To learn more or to find a retailer near you, visit mrspastures.com.

Want to stay up to date on the many exciting new product releases and updates from Mrs. Pastures? Click here: https://forms.office.com/r/q59kkxPhhm

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 eventing alive. In efforts to recognize the dedication, commitment, and hard work that volunteers put into eventing, the 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, which is also available as an app for iOS and Android.

Volunteer incentives include national and area recognition, year-end awards, 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 on EventingVolunteers.com at recognized events throughout the USEA competition year. Click here to learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.

May 21, 2024 Eventing News

USEA Now Accepting Coach Applications for 2025 EA21 Program

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is excited to announce that coach applications are now being accepted for the 2025 USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21). One additional coach will be selected and hired for a three-year term for the EA21 program, teaching one two-day summertime regional clinic annually throughout the term.

May 21, 2024 Eventing News

Now On Course: Laury Marshall and Finley Have Learned The Sport Together

Sometimes, a kind word is all it takes to make someone’s day, says Laury Marshall. Marshall and Finley, her 17-hand Thoroughbred mare, had just finished their dressage test at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. They’d performed solidly, good for a 36.4 and middle-of-the-pack standing in the Beginner Novice Rider championship division at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

May 20, 2024 Interscholastic

USEA Podcast #361: Reliving the USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Eventing Championships

We are still riding on a bit of a high after the success of the 2024 USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Eventing Championships, so we loved taking the opportunity to chat about this year's event with Stable View's Barry Oliff, member of the winning Intercollegiate team Hayden Wathen, and member of the winning Interscholastic team Collins Zgutowicz. Let the countdown to the 2025 championships begin...

May 19, 2024 Eventing News

From Kalispell to Kentucky: A Trip East Proves Fruitful for Jen Moody

For eventer Jen Moody, the trek from Montana to compete at this year’s Defender Kentucky Cosequin Lexington CCI4*S was a long, chilly journey, but she had big goals for her kind-hearted Thoroughbred, Eye Of The Storm. With her 4-year-old daughter, Valkyrie, and longtime friend and supporter, Sarah Broussard, by her side, the journey to the Bluegrass State—and beyond—exceeded her expectations.

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