Mar 15, 2021

USEA Podcast #279: Jumping to Success

By USEA

On this week’s USEA Official Podcast host Nicole Brown is first joined by show jumping course designer extraordinaire Marc Donovan who shares insights that you don’t want to miss hearing before you ride your next show jumping course! Later in the episode, Brown catches up with USEA CEO Rob Burk to discuss the latest on the Appendix 3 rule change proposal.

  • Brown and Donovan open by discussing how show jumping in eventing has changed over the years. Timing, the look of the jumps, technicality – there are lots of areas that have seen evolution over the last few years. Donovan said that horses jumping his tracks have gotten better and better, so the sport needs to evolve with the quality of the horses.
  • The pair then talk a little bit about what riders can do at home to prepare their toolbox for show jumping competition. Be sure to listen in to find out why a tape measure is important to have at home and a great exercise to be prepared for the event.
  • Time is often talked about during cross-country, but it is just as important to prepare to ride the show jumping course at an accurate pace. Donovan also suggested practicing with distances that are different lengths, so you are prepared to adjust your horse in competition.
  • What happens if you don’t have room for a full course at home? Donovan says you only need two jumps to properly prepare for an event!
  • The conversation then moved to Donovan’s philosophy behind design which his first point is that he always wants to make a jump or line that is jumpable.
  • How does the process of designing a show jumping course work? Donovan said his mentor Richard Jeffery was a master at making various tracks from the same course to help design various levels at an event and Donovan learned from him.
  • All the rulebooks (British, U.S., Canadian, etc.) have their own constraints and rules, but they are usually minimal requirements – like the USEF Rules For Eventing say you must have two changes of direction in a course, but Donovan thinks it is better to have three or sometimes up to five.
  • What are Donovan’s top tips for walking a course?
    • Read the course map!
    • Know how you are going to get in and out of the ring.
    • Don’t be embarrassed to walk any length of line – even if it’s 12 strides!
  • Burk then joined Brown to address the discussion around the Appendix 3 rule change proposal. The USEA Board of Governors voted to table the rule change proposal until the 2023 competition season – they are still fully committed to making a change to the Appendix, but want to spend the time to make sure the proposal is correct.
  • Burk was sure to extend a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who serve on the committees to work to make the sport safer. Especially the members of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee who put an enormous amount of time and research into this rule change proposal.
  • Burk also reminded listeners that this was just one of four rule changes that were submitted to make the sport safer – the USEA is really trying to take a holistic approach to mitigating risk.
  • Brown then asked Burk what members who want to get involved and have their voice heard should do, and he suggested starting at the Area level – reach out to your Area Council or your Area Board of Governor representative.

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USEA Announces Athletes for the 2022 Emerging Athlete 21 Program

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the athletes selected for the 2022 USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) Program. USEA Young Rider program members aged 21 and under are eligible for the program, which aims to creates a pipeline for potential U.S. team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency.

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Weekend Quick Links: July 2-3

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.

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Last month we began a four-part series on mental preparation and the many kinds of pre-ride routines you can perform to control your emotions so they don’t take control of you. If you recall, the purpose of these routines is to give your brain the perception of predictability and control because as soon as your brain loses these it senses threat and stress which weakens your confidence and strengthens your jitters and fears.

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