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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Jan 28, 2023 Membership

Now On Course: Woodrow Goes Wild to Mild

Did you know that there are over 53,000 wild mustangs in holding facilities across the United States? My mustang journey began in February 2018 after losing my heart horse whom I had just shy of 20 years. I wanted another horse of color, and my friend sent me the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) internet adoption link. I was amazed at all of the horses available on the internet auction, but I quickly fell in love with Woodrow. I learned that he was a popular band stallion in Wyoming and had been followed by photographers for close to three years.

Jan 27, 2023 ATC

Introducing the New Modified Rider Division at the 2023 AEC

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.

Jan 26, 2023 Young Event Horse

Get a Taste of Eventing with the New Event Horse Program

Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.

Jan 25, 2023 Profile

Dondante Steps Into The Spotlight with 2022 Standlee USEA Horse of the Year Title

Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.

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