On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Major General Jonathan R. Burton was laid to rest with military funeral honors and funeral escort at Arlington National Cemetery. Burton passed away at the age of 99 in Tuscon, Arizona on May 29, 2019.
Burton enrolled in the ROTC Horse Cavalry Division while at Michigan State University and moved to Fort Riley, Kansas, headquarters of the U.S. Cavalry School, upon graduation. When the U.S. entered World War II, Burton and his regiment were shipped to Australia to prepare to fight as infantry under General MacArthur and from there he was shipped to New Guinea.
After the war, Burton returned to Fort Riley where he taught advanced horsemanship. Burton was selected for the United States show jumping team at the 1948 London Olympics and the United States three-day eventing team at the 1956 Stockholm Olympics - he missed the 1952 Games because he was serving in the Korean War at the time. In 1953, Burton helped organize the first continuous horse trials in the U.S. along with Margaret Lindsley Warden and William Haggard and had the honor of writing the first rulebook for combined training.
General Burton served two and a half years in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as a brigade commander and as an assistant division commander. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (1st OLC), Distinguished Flying Cross (2nd OLC), Air Medal (V Device & 54 OLC), Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Ribbon. After 33 years of service in the U.S. Army, Burton retired as a Major General, last as commander of the 3rd Armored Division.
Burton's contributions to the eventing community are innumerable and included serving as Executive Vice President for the U.S. Equestrian Team for 10 years and as President of the U.S. Combined Training Association (now United States Eventing Association) from 1985-1987. He was also a member of the group that established the North American Young Rider Championships in the 1980s. He worked as an FEI judge, technical delegate, and steward until the age of 92. He was inducted into the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame and the US Dressage Federation Hall of Fame.
All photos by Ricky Gibson/Dogwood Productions.
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.