The Volunteer Incentive Program was established in 2017 and in just one year has experienced incredible growth, both in the number of volunteers using the Eventing Volunteers app and in the number of organizers putting the app to good use. In 2016, when the app was being piloted in Area II, it had just 800 registered volunteers. This year, the app has over 6,000 registered users and is used by 86 USEA recognized events across the country.
Bonnie Kibbie, chair of the USEA Volunteer Committee talks about the responsibilities of the committee and the how the Eventing Volunteers app has grown and developed with feedback from both volunteers and organizers, as well as some of the benefits it provides for volunteers and organizers alike. The app has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible, making it easy to sign up for volunteer jobs, log hours, check out leaderboards, and more!
Kibbie also discusses some of the other projects the Volunteer Committee has undertaken. In addition to the number of resources the Committee has crafted for organizers on volunteer best practices, the Committee is creating jump judge training videos, a project spearheaded by committee member Irene Doo with the support of a grant from the USEA. Doo has been coordinating, editing, and producing these videos, which will be available for all USEA events and volunteers as a free online resource. The Volunteer Committee also recently released a short two-minute survey to gauge interest on a number of possible volunteer educational opportunities. Kibbie describes some of the potential ideas the Committee has been discussing. Click here to take the survey!
Jackie Smith of Stone Gate Farm has been a supporter of the Volunteer Incentive Program since its inception and comes on the show to talk about how organizers can benefit from using the Eventing Volunteers app. As an active competitor, licensed official, ICP certified instructor, and show organizer, Smith has her hands full. The Eventing Volunteers app helps her organizer all her volunteers for her many recognized and unrecognized events in one place and makes it easy to communicate with her volunteers. She’s also attracted new volunteers to her events, just because her events use the app!
There are currently 34 FEI events on the U.S. Eventing calendar for 2021 with the first taking place in mid-March. While all national events in the U.S. follow the USEF Rules For Eventing, international events follow the FEI Rulebook.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
In a difficult year for the sport of eventing, it was volunteers like James (Jim) Newman who helped many events stay afloat. Through www.eventingvolunteers.com, Newman recorded a total of 292 hours and 51 minutes of volunteer service in 2020. Newman’s dedication to the sport amidst a pandemic earned him the top spot on the USEA Volunteer of the Year Presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods leaderboard.
Over the past few years, I have gotten to know McKenna Miller and her current horse, Bo Jango (or "Jimbo" as he is known around the barn). I want to share the story of how she got Jimbo, because it has made a positive impact on my life and has inspired me to be a better person and rider with my own horse.