Dec 21, 2020

USEA Podcast #273: A #TeamTalk Look Back at 2020

By USEA

Our last USEA Podcast episode of the year is a #TeamTalk for our listeners, checking in with USEF Eventing High Performance Director Erik Duvander and USEF Managing Director for Eventing Jenni Autry. In conversation with Nicole Brown, Autry and Duvander reflect back on 2020 and look ahead to what's to come in 2021 for the U.S. Eventing team.

  • Duvander talks a bit about how 2020 started out with preparations for the Olympic Games, and how even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and upended the year that he was thinking the team could use another year to be fully prepared for the Olympics. Of course, the Olympics have now been rescheduled for summer 2021 and Duvander is feeling confident about the U.S. Team's ability to put in a strong performance.
  • Autry then discusses some of the logistics of getting to an Olympics game and what happened when everything was thrown into uncertainty this year. It was necessary to have a plan B, C, and D, but most of all to stay positive and keep working hard! 2020 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year Liz Halliday-Sharp talks about what that adversity was like to deal with as a rider in her keynote address as part of the USEA Annual Meeting, which can be viewed here.
  • Duvander observed that event riders are very resilient, and this year only proved over again that when the going gets tough, eventers buckle down and get it done. It's not just eventers, either - organizers, officials, and volunteers have all had to stay flexible and positive this year to restructure the eventing calendar after losing three months of competition and to make events logistically possible given the new restrictions due to COVID-19.
  • Duvander touches on the USEF High Performance Training Lists and what went into the selection process given that the Olympics are now taking place in 2021. The Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenges and Eventing 25 Program have also served as pathways to help riders reach the high performance ranks.
  • Autry said that one of the highlights of the year was seeing how the months of downtime and canceled competitions in the spring allowed riders to really buckle down and train and then come out strong in the fall with strong performances at Great Meadow and Tryon, where four riders finished on sub-30 scores at the CCI4*-L level.
  • Looking forward to 2021, things are still looking uncertain. Duvander and Autry both comment on what it's like to work with the atmosphere of uncertainty - you have to proceed as though things will happen as planned, and if plans change you have to be prepared to pivot to plan B. And of course, Duvander is thinking even further ahead than 2021, with the Paris Olympics on the calendar for 2024 followed by the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
  • Autry lays out the final selection trials - the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L, Badminton Horse Trials CCI5*-L, and the Jersey Fresh International CCI4*-L - and said that plans are moving ahead for these competitions.
  • Duvander concludes by reflecting on what success will look like for the United States at the Olympics next summer, saying the biggest aspect will be making sure each horse and rider that travels to Tokyo is as prepared as it is possible for them to be so they have the best chance of being successful.

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May 14, 2021 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: May 14-16, 2021

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

May 14, 2021 Interscholastic

Announcing the IEL Team Spotlight Series

The USEA would like to feature your IEL team! The USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is in its first year and currently has 82 registered teams from every USEA area and 46 events hosting an interscholastic team challenge.

May 13, 2021 Sponsor

FITS Returns to Sponsor AEC, ATC, Intercollegiate, and Classic Series

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2021. They are returning as a Bronze Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Adult Team Championships, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Classic Series, and a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS Riding will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.

May 13, 2021 Classic Series

Memories from the Vet Box with Kerry Millikin

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it was an amazing experience.” Twenty-five years ago, Kerry Millikin and her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Out and About (who was only 8 years old at the time) won the individual Olympic bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making her one of five females to have earned an individual Olympic medal for the U.S.

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