Mar 14, 2011

USEA Member Story #14

This is the 14th entry in the USEA’s Member Story Series. Help us reach our goal of over 300 stories – email your story to Leslie.

Hi! I'm Lisa Burnett. Yes, it's March and I should be out conditioning my horse. But I'm not. I'm pregnant and either sitting or getting up to find food that I don't like once I smell it. So, here I am reflecting on how I got into Eventing. I had a rather unconventional horse upbringing. I'm a Navy brat with non-pet parents. No dogs, no cats, not even a goldfish. I was born in California and at 6 days old, moved to Virginia Beach. One fateful day when I was three-years-old, our babysitter took us to her grandfather's farm to ride his horses.

As the story goes, I got on Blackie, the requisite Shetland on the farm. Blackie proceeded to take off with me back to the barn. My sister and babysitter ran after us and found me at the back of the barn, on the ground, bawling my eyes out. They asked if I was okay and I just blubbered, 'I WANT BACK ON!' My mother promptly fired the babysitter and never forgave her for the next 37 years.

We then moved back to California, this time up near San Francisco. While there for two years, I went trail riding. My sister did take some lessons. Then we moved to San Diego. Back in the day, my mom would literally dump us off at the local rental stables for the weekend, and we would help out there. I was eight-years-old and a trail guide. The first real lesson I had was with the owner's daughter who was my age.

It was a lunge lesson and it was learning how to fall off, and then I only rode bareback. We had a "pasture" (this is California so a dirt lot), of ponies. I got a lot of injuries and had a lot of fun. I think this is what helped me with being able to fall off and not get hurt or being able to stick. Ponies can and will test you!

So, there were zero English type of shows available. Del Mar was only beginning. And then the Olympics happened. My mom got us the cheapest tickets in the equestrian event she could find. And luckily, it was 20 minutes away at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course. We didn't know Eventing existed much less dressage nor even that you can actually jump outside the arena! I watched the entire thing and was hooked. My mother never forgave herself, she said she should have gotten tickets to dressage. I didn't know who these people were but I distinctly remember Toddy and Charisma. They were that good. Even with the likes of me who didn't know a thing about English riding.


So, I started riding English. I got the saddle and knew I had to stick my legs back and my chest out, right? I had a few lessons here and there. Did dressage solely for two years which I loved, but my mare had other ideas. She kept jumping out of things. So we went to a few combined tests and the only event in Southern California, the Horse Trials at Show Park. But I was hooked.

I then had the opportunity to go to school in Virginia. My dad was stationed in Virginia so I could get in-state tuition, and the poor man took me to Upperville and then onto some Universities that had riding teams. And off I went to the Eventing mecca of the U.S.!

I now have 'that' horse. You know the one that your just absolutely click with. After a few misfires with beautiful Thoroughbreds, I followed the orders of horse finder extradonaire, Lisa Reid. She found this Amish horse in the side of an icy mountain in Pennsylvania. No one suspects that he's as good as he is when he's just standing there, but after winning such events at the Waredaca Training Three-day Event, he's got the goods! For some horse that was bred to trot on the road, we clocked a two and a half minute steeplechase in one minute 50 seconds! That was such a thrill and a highlight, and I couldn't have done it without my instructor, Emily Beshear, teaching us how to do everything correctly. I've been through a lot of trainers, and I can truly say she's a talented instructor. It helps that Winston has a brain between those ears because a lot of times, I don't!

Jun 16, 2021 Interscholastic

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Organize an IEL Team Challenge

The new USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is in its first year, and the 2021 calendar has an impressive total of 47 events hosting an IEL team challenge. With many IEL members aiming to compete in events that only host a team challenge, an organizer needs to be fully prepared for what to expect.

Jun 15, 2021 Grants

Rebecca Broussard International and National Developing Riders' Grants

2021 will be the last year the Rebecca Broussard International and National Developing Riders’ Grants will be offered. The committee would like to thank Jerome Broussard and the entire Broussard family for supporting these valuable grants for so many years.

Interviews for this year’s International and National Developing Rider’s Grants will be held at The Event at Rebecca Farm and will be limited to riders entered in both the CCI4*-L and the CCI4*-S. For those riders entered, please sign up for your interview at the show office upon arrival. Interviews will take place Tuesday through Thursday before your dressage tests.

Jun 15, 2021 Editorial

Horse Heroes: Nereo

“He looks as grey as I am,” jokes Andrew Nicholson. Nereo’s long, chestnut face may show signs of age, with greying circles around his wise eyes, but he still slopes out to the field every day with that unmistakably rangey, athlete’s stride. It is four years almost exactly since he won Badminton, giving Nicholson virtually the only major prize in eventing that had hitherto eluded him. He was retired from the sport a year later, in 2018, at Badminton after yet another superlative cross-country round.

Jun 14, 2021 AEC

Auburn Laboratories Returns as Silver Level Sponsor of the 2021 AEC

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to announce the renewed partnership with Auburn Laboratories, Inc. As a Silver Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC), Auburn Laboratories will provide gift certificates for one 12 oz bottle of APF to the top three finishers in every AEC division. This year’s AEC will be held August 31-September 5 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA