It always helps to see a warm and friendly face when heading to warm up for that all-important test or jump round. In this series, the United States Evening Association (USEA) is partnering with Athletux to feature those around us who help make these events happen, the volunteers. Without them horse shows and programs could not succeed, and these volunteers go above and beyond to make sure every rider feels comfortable and confident. Do you know a volunteer who should be nominated as Volunteer of the Month? We are looking for our next feature. Email your tips to [email protected].
While Tom Weiss may not have grown up in the eventing community, he was still always around horses. In fact, he grew up riding in the hunter and jumper rings, where he found much success. Those pursuits eventually led him to a show barn in Syracuse, New York, which is where he started his career grooming in high school. Between his riding and grooming, Weiss was constantly around horses and he would not have had it any other way. Eventually adulthood called and Weiss put horses on hold as he went to college and courageously joined the Navy. Life in the armed forces allowed Tom to visit different places around globe, but many years later he decided to settle in California, which is where he resides now.
It just so happened that when he moved to California, he ended up living near a popular eventing venue named Hidden Valley Ranch. It was at Hidden Valley Ranch where he began to volunteer in the 1980’s as a way to become involved in the horse community once again. While he had zero experience eventing himself, he quickly began to love the sport and would volunteer as much as he could. When the owners sadly passed away and the facility no longer held events, Weiss began to see what other venues were around to continue his involvement in the community through volunteering. Tom happened to stumble upon Twin Rivers Ranch and, as they say, the rest is history. No matter what, Weiss is always at Twin Rivers volunteering and cheering on the competitors at every event.
In fact, one of his fondest memories was an event he volunteered at where the weather was less than ideal. “There was a day when it just downpoured and we were all out there just trying to keep our score sheets dry! It amazed me at how dedicated everyone was and the rain didn’t seem to effect things at all,” explained Weiss. Rain or shine, if you are competing at Twin Rivers you can expect to find Weiss somewhere out on the cross-country course volunteering. It is people like Weiss that truly help keep the sport going and these events running time after time.
When asked what his favorite role to participate in is, Weiss quickly pointed out jump judging. And his favorite type of day? The boring ones, of course, he explained. “I like things to be nice and boring. I just love watching the horses and enjoying my time at these events. The best days are the boring ones when you can just enjoy the beauty and grace of the horses. Saying ‘so-and-so number clear so-and-so jump’ is my favorite thing to do,” added Weiss. His dedication and love for the sport extends beyond volunteering and the sport of eventing is so lucky to have someone like Weiss.
Those at Twin Rivers value Weiss greatly and describe him as selfless and dedicated. Asia Vedder, volunteer coordinator at Twin Rivers, added, “He is there every day all day and continues to come back event after event. He is one of my favorite volunteers and he always has a smile on his face no matter what.” It is easy to see the impact he has made on the community and how is one of the most recognized faces at the events. If Weiss was not there volunteering, Twin Rivers would not be the same. Over the course of his lifetime, Weiss has clocked an innumerable amount of volutneer hours and he has no intention of slowing down anytime soon!
At every event he attends, Weiss’s infectious spirit and passion for volunteering spreads through the event and its workforce. Those around him strive to be more like him. Weiss is continuously there for whatever Twin Rivers needs. Even as someone who does not ride, he regularly clocks more hours volunteering than anyone in the area and those at Twin Rivers are quick to credit him with helping their events happen. They use words such as “dedicated," “passionate," and “cheerful” to describe him and they are all thrilled to have Weiss as a volunteer at Twin Rivers. He is more than worthy of this month’s nomination and if you happen to see him at one of the many events held at Twin Rivers in the future, be sure to give him a huge thank you because the eventing community would not be the same without him.
Do you know someone who should be recognized as Volunteer of the Month? We are looking for our next feature. Email your tips to [email protected].
Cecil County Serving as Host Sponsor; Diageo, Breakthru Beverage, Brown Advisory, and Quarry View Building Group On-Board as Additional Lead Sponsors
A total of ten USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) graduates are now in the race to Le Lion! The 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France will be held on October 21-24. The 6-year-old Championship is a CCIYH2*-L and the 7-year-old Championship is a CCIYH3*-L.
“Schooling shows are about learning, not about being intimidated,” says Miranda Kettlewell, VP of Dressage for Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA).
For horses and riders, schooling shows are a great way to practice without the added stress and expense of a recognized or sanctioned competition. Venues and clubs can offer schooling shows as a way to open the door to their communities, increase their revenue or membership, and partner with local businesses.
US Equestrian has announced a horse substitution for the U.S. Eventing Olympic Team ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Luke Syndicate's Luke 140, the selected mount for Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.), will be replaced by Martin’s first direct reserve, Tsetserleg, a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner. Luke 140 sustained a minor injury during his training preparation and has been withdrawn from consideration for the team but is expected to make a full recovery.