“Volunteers are the backbone of any successful competition and we couldn't run the events without their precious gift of their time,” the Eventing Discipline Manager for the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) Shelley Page said. Not only is Page the designated eventing manager for the 2018 WEG in Tryon, N.C., she is also the show organizer for the 2018 United States Eventing Association (USEA) American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colo.
As an advocate for the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), Page stressed the importance of volunteers. In order to make volunteers feel appreciated, Page emphasized she does, “everything possible! I try to always thank them personally, I try to get gifts for them to take home, I listen to their input (good and bad), and I always let them know they are the best part of my team.”
Shelley Page took a moment out of her busy Volunteer Coordinator's schedule to participate in the "horse" race at the 2017 American Eventing Championships. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Her team is assembled with the help of the VIP app which will be used at the 2018 AEC to organize volunteers. This is the second time in a row the AEC has used the VIP app, and in 2017 the AEC proved to be an influential event to shift the Volunteer leaderboard. “The best thing about utilizing the VIP app is it keeps all of the volunteer information in one place. I always add my volunteer coordinator(s) and volunteer leads (dressage, XC, show jumping, VIP, etc.) so they can easily manage their groups of volunteers, but I can [also] check in and see all that is being done,” explained Page.
“I insist on using the app, as I do so many events a year. It's the easiest way to keep track of all of people at all of my events!” Grand Oaks Horse Trials in Fla., Grand Prix Eventing at Bruce’s Field in S.C., The Fork Horse Trials in N.C., Mars Essex Horse Trials in N.J., Ocala Jockey Club in Fla., Poplar Place Horse Trials in Ga., and the Wellington Eventing Showcase in Fla., are just a few of the numerous events Page organizes every year.
Page shares a similar mindset as Loch Moy Farm’s Carolyn Mackintosh in that volunteers are an integral part of a successful event. USEA/Claire Kelley Photo.
As a show organizer extraordinaire, Page has heard the good, the bad, and the reluctant comments about the VIP app. “I so often hear that events don't want to try the app because their volunteers won't use it. The user of the app can add people into the system and then easily talk volunteer through the sign-up process or there is a great, very easy to follow tutorial on [EventingVolunteers.com] to walk anyone through how to use the program. I can't emphasize enough how amazing the customer service is if you need assistance, make changes, or have suggestions for the app.”
“It's all a continued work in progress and we are all helping build it together.”
To help become the backbone of our sport, find the next volunteer opportunity at EventingVolunteers.com.
About the Volunteer Incentive Program
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 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, trophies, a top ten USEA Volunteer leaderboard, and a Volunteer of the Year award which is given to the volunteer who accumulates 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.
"No matter how old you are, be open to all disciplines, learn how to ride a dressage horse, a gaited horse, a show jumper. Go fox hunting and point-to-pointing and horse showing. You’ll learn from all of them and when you do decide which discipline you want to do, you’ll be better at it anyway.”
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.