The idea of certifying instructors for teaching the sport of eventing was conceptualized in 1999 with the formation of the USEA Instructors' Certification Program (ICP), with the first ICP Workshop occurring in 2002. The goals of the program were to certify qualified instructors and develop a road map for mandatory certification of eventing instructors. The ICP remains steadfast in its adherence to striving for those goals today.
What these original goals fostered was a much broader and more important mission: the mission of providing and expanding excellence in the teaching of the sport of eventing. The incredible body of information that has been amassed within the existing curriculum, in the ICP Standards booklet, and in the ICP Workbook, provides invaluable resources that should be coveted by all eventing instructors. This monumental compilation of information and resource is directly the result of the founding guiding minds and ICP faculty members’ desire to create a strong foundation for our sport to stand on. A platform to support excellence in eventing instruction was created, and while mandatory certification remains a goal in the process, there are many, many instructors who have benefited from the ability to stand on that platform.
The evolution of the sport over the past 20 years has prompted the ICP committee and faculty to begin the process of evaluation and modification to create currency and credibility. One of those many changes, from format to added divisions, is the evolving role of the instructor and coach with respect to USEA competitions and competitors. The influence of the instructor/coach on eventing competitors, at every level, is significant. In fact, there may be no greater influence on the success, welfare, and safety of most riders in USEA competition than the instructor. The instructor not only instructs but is responsible for preparing riders and horses to meet each level of competition, equipping riders and horses with the skills required to be safe and successful at each level, is instrumental in deciding at which level the rider should compete, and deciding when they are ready to move up the levels. In the modern sport of eventing, particularly in North America, the risk management of multiple athletes is in the hands of the instructor/trainer/coach.
Therefore, to meet the demands of change, one of the initial steps of that process has been to re-tool the ICP mission statement. The original mission statement did justice to the basic premise of accrediting instructors for the sport of eventing. However, what was created under that original premise is so much more than an accreditation process. What was created is a vast resource and network in support of improving education for our sport.
The exercise of writing a new mission statement brought to the forefront a lot of good language that described what the ICP is, what the ICP does, what guides the ICP program, and what the ICP is capable of. It became clear that rather than be limited by the concise language appropriate for a mission statement, it was an opportunity to use more of that descriptive language to develop multiple guiding documents, including a Mission Statement, a Vision Statement, Core Values, and Goals and Objectives. These documents will serve to guide as the ICP builds a stronger and broader platform for excellence in instruction for the sport of eventing in the United States.
The ICP levels of certification have been updated to align with new recognized competition levels, which are continually being added.
This change affects Levels I and II, moving Training to Level II and Preliminary to Level III.
This includes previously certified instructors at Level II who were certified through the Preliminary level and CCI*, and will retain their status by being designated as Level II/P instructors. Previously certified instructors at Level I would retain their current designation for Level 1-Novice and Level I-Training.
The mission of the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program is to produce and improve the craft and art in the teaching of riding and horse management for the sport of eventing through the application of the highest principles of horsemanship, which ensures the ethical and humane treatment of horses and the safety of both horses and riders and extends to all those associated with the health and well-being of the horses.
The USEA Instructors’ Certification Program promotes excellence in horse training, instructing, and coaching for the sport of eventing at all levels.
Instructors are essential to the training of riders and horses for safe and educated participation in the sport of eventing. The USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) was initiated in 2002 to educate all levels of eventing instructor with essential training principles upon which those instructors can continue to build throughout their teaching careers. ICP offers educational workshops and assessments by which both regular instructors, Level I through Level IV, Young Event Horse (YEH) instructors, and Young Event Horse professional horse trainers can become ICP certified. Additional information about ICP’s goals, benefits, workshops, and assessments as well as names and contact information for current ICP certified instructors, YEH instructors, and YEH professional horse trainers are available on the USEA website. Click here to learn more about the Instructors’ Certification Program.
The USEA would like to thank EquiAppraisal and Parker Equine Insurance for sponsoring the Instructors’ Certification Program.
The USEA Classic Series is going strong thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of event organizers who are committed to the thrill of long-format eventing. Dr. Christel Carlson, M.D. is one of the biggest champions of the program. A former competitor, she continues to contribute countless hours to the USEA as an organizer, judge (R), volunteer, and member of multiple committees. She is the owner of Spokane Sport Horse Farm in Spokane, Washington, which hosts two USEA recognized events each year. The facility’s fall event, which closes out the season in Area VII, includes Classic Three-Day divisions at the Beginner Novice, Novice and Training levels.
It was a weekend to remember for eventers from 13 colleges as they convened at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, from May 26-28 for the 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Championship. The 23 teams gave their all and had tons of fun!
The 2023 Woodside Spring H.T. served as a celebration of the successes of the West Coast eventers that competed in the Kentucky Three-Day Event, as well as what’s in store for the future of the sport in California. On the eve of competition on Thursday, organizers at the Woodside Horse Trials held a party in honor of both Tamie Smith’s historic win in the Kentucky five-star and the team of cross country builders led by Bert Wood that unveiled new courses at The Horse Park. Derek di Grazia designed the new Advanced and Intermediate tracks, with Wood designing the new tracks for Preliminary through Starter.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to offer the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC) at the upcoming USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The Adult Team Championships will be offered once again at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels for members of the USEA Adult Rider Program, and newly added this year, the Modified level will be included in the ATC as well.