It is the eventing programs like Lee Ann Zobbe’s program in Area VIII that help keep the sport alive. In addition to teaching students how to ride, Zobbe the manager and coach at Come Again Farm, also teaches her students how to volunteer. Whether her students are 11 years old or 70 years old, volunteering is an integral part of her program located in Sheridan, Indiana.
Currently, Zobbe serves on the Indiana Eventing Association Board, is a member of the USEA Classic Series Task Force, a loyal volunteer at the IEA Horse Trials in Area VIII, Pine Top Horse Trials in Area III, and the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event where she volunteers as an Area Steward. “I enjoy doing it and I get satisfaction from being part of a successful team,” said Zobbe.
Zobbe continued, “I believe everyone should volunteer to truly understand how many layers exist to make a successful horse trials (or any show). I believe people who understand that will pitch in when something isn't quite right, rather than complain about it.”
Coming from a family of hard-working volunteers, Zobbe was taught the importance of volunteering through her parents. “I come from a family that believed in giving back to their sport. My parents were into race cars. [They] did every job from Regional Executive, newsletter editor, to working at the track in registration, timing and scoring, and race organizer. We Zobbe kids were expected to do our part from a young age and you could always find a Zobbe kid somewhere useful. We timed cars in timing and scoring, checked people in in registration, worked the flags in the corners, marshaled cars on the false grid. It was the normal thing to do, and they drilled it into us that no volunteers meant no sport.”
“That said, my family liked race cars, I was enamored with horses. As soon as I was old enough, I started helping out at local dressage shows and horse trials. I then started organizing shows as well and organized my first horse show in 1986 (The Indy Dressage Classic); I haven't stopped since then.”
Students of Come Again Farm are treated like family and with that comes learning the life lessons that Zobbe was taught when she was young. “All of my young students are like kids to me, and I believe it is part of my job to not only teach them riding, but also to teach them the value of being an integral part of your chosen passion. I believe that was a very useful life lesson I got from my parents and I like to pass it on.”
This year Zobbe has logged in over 23 volunteer hours at Pine Top H.T. through eventingvolunteers.com. As a regular volunteer at Pine Top, Zobbe shared how she first started volunteering at the Area III event. “I first went down there to take advantage of riding with Ian Stark for a week, right after their Advanced Horse Trials. The next year I went again but got there in time to help jump judge on Sunday. I've not gone every year, but I have a lot of years, and as I have, I've taken people down with me that have also volunteered, all ages from 11 to 70+.”
Pine Top hosts four USEA recognized events every year and they manage their volunteers through eventingvolutneers.com, the official online management system of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) Presented by Sunsprite Warmbloods. This past winter season the loyalty to volunteering at Pine Top was no different for Zobbe and her students. “This year we [had] half the fences on the cross-country course on Sunday - there were a lot of Hoosier twangs on the radios! The Wilsons and crew have always been welcoming and treated us so well that we look forward to making the trek every year.”
“I must give props to all my [students] as they can be found volunteering at not only my shows on the farm, but also at IEA HTs and many other events in Area VIII.”
The USEA would like to thank all the volunteers from Come Again Farm!
About the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport, the unsung heroes, and the people who make it possible to keep the sport alive. In efforts to recognize the dedication, commitment, and hard work that volunteers put into eventing, USEA formed the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) in 2015. In 2017, an online management portal was designed for volunteers, organizers, and volunteer coordinators at EventingVolunteers.com (available as an app for iOS and Android).
Volunteer incentives include national and area recognition, year-end awards with ribbons, cash prizes, and trophies, a top ten USEA Volunteer leaderboard, and a Volunteer of the Year award which is given to the volunteer who tops the leaderboard by accumulating the most volunteer hours over the USEA competition year. Click here to learn more about the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program.
The USEA would like to thank Sunsprite Warmbloods for sponsoring the Volunteer Incentive Program.
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.
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.
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.
Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.
Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.