It takes over 2,500 volunteers to help run the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, but there are two volunteers who have volunteered every year since 1995: Ron and Ellen Sadler. From assisting at the horse inspections to managing awards, they have helped make the event possible for many years. It’s a guarantee that you’ll see them on Sunday handing out ribbons and managing the group of volunteers for awards.
Out of the Sunday awards volunteer group, there is Morgan Garrett who has been a volunteer at the event since 2010. Garrett, who grew up in Lexington shared, “I have always ridden around here, and I’ve come to watch Kentucky since I was a little kid. I got into volunteering when we had the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. So, almost 13 years later and here we are,” said a smiling Garrett.
“I’m a cross-country fence judge on Saturday and I do awards and trophies on Sunday. That’s how it’s been every year.” Garrett continued as she explained her favorite part of the ‘Best Weekend All Year.' “I love the atmosphere and I love all the camaraderie of having everyone back in Lexington to celebrate these horses.”
Another volunteer at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event who has been volunteering for many years is Shoshana Rudski. “This is my sixth year here volunteering at Kentucky. I got involved thanks to the other people at my barn locally in Lexington. I feel super fortunate to be able to help,” said Rudski. “I’m usually helping out with the booths and trade fair the other days and then I always try to volunteer on Sunday.”
Although Rudski volunteers almost every day at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and has done a variety of volunteer positions, there is one volunteer position that’s her favorite. “[My] favorite position is doing the ribbons and trophies because it’s nice to see everyone’s reactions at the end and getting to be a part of that.”
While the Sunday awards group of volunteers is run by the Sadlers, Emily Watson has helped run the Thursday and Friday dressage volunteers for over 12 years. These volunteers are mostly made up of students at the GlenAyre Equestrian Centre and GlenAyre Pony Club.
Watson shared in a Facebook post on Friday, April 29, “[We] started LRK3DE before dawn yesterday. Two full days of dressage are now complete. I’m pretty sure the kids are beat but highly inspired. Everyone was magnificent! The girls make my job easy with their professionalism. I never heard a kid whine about being cold, or hot, or hungry, they just carried their tasks to perfection.”
At last year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2021, Watson explained when Pony Clubs first started volunteering on dressage day. “It first was started with the Hunter’s Run Pony Club in Columbus, Ohio back in 1978, and I took over the job about 11 years ago. We also volunteer for show jumping at Flying Cross H.T. But a lot of kids volunteer on their own now that there’s the [Volunteer Incentive Program] app. We are a sport that’s run by volunteers and it’s nice for them to realize that.”
Organized by Equestrian Events Inc. (EEI) and EEI’s Sr. Director of Competition, Vanessa Coleman, the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event managed the 2,500+ volunteers through the eventingvolunteers.com app which is the official software for the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.
Thank you to all the volunteers for making this sport possible!
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.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.
To accompany the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, USEA Educational Partner STRIDER has prepared Digital Resources to Maximize Education & Access for the Eventing Community. In keeping with the USEA’s mission to expand the sport of eventing, this webinar outlines ways in which digital tools can be leveraged to increase access and education across equestrian opportunities. As part of STRIDER’s popular Professional Development Webinar Series, this presentation aims to provide a quick overview of best practices and digital tools used across the equestrian industry to boost growth.
Every horse who participated this year in the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program has a story—a background that involves a breeder who labored over bloodlines, veterinary care, initial training, and so much more. This year’s highest-placing U.S.-bred horse in the 5-year-old division at the Dutta Corp./USEA Young Event Horse Championships, Arden Augustus, is no exception. His breeder and owner, Anita Antenucci of Arden Farms in Upperville, Virginia, started her program nine years ago and said that the Warmblood gelding was a more emotionally driven breeding for her than others due to his connections with Antenucci’s long-time friend Sharon White.