Apr 05, 2019

Making the Sport Safer: The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award

Liz Crawley Photography Photo.

This week’s USEA Podcast episode is all about the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. Founded in 2009 by the Professional Horseman’s Council and Charles Owen, the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is presented to one junior and one adult amateur at the Training level who displays safe and effective cross-country riding technique. Chairman of Charles Owen Roy Burek and Technical Merit Judge Cindy Deporter join us on the show to discuss the history and benefits of the program and the judging process of the award.

Roy Burek discusses the history of the Technical Merit Award and the partnership formed between the award and Charles Owen. Burek examines the benefits that have arisen as a result of the program, including an increased focus on proper coaching and training. Burek also provides information on the changes of safety protocols over the years and advancements in helmet technology to meet increased safety standards.

Cindy Deporter, a USEF licensed FEI Eventing Judge, Technical Delegate, and Steward, was the judge of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award at the Pine Top Horse Trials in February 2019. She covers some of the salient points about the award, including changes to the award in recent years and the types of officials that can judge the award. Then, she discusses the different judging criteria and what judges are looking to see from riders.

About the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award

In 2009, the Professional Horseman’s Council and Charles Owen founded the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award to reward juniors and adult amateurs for demonstrating safe and appropriate cross-country riding technique and educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe cross-country riding.

The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is presented at one event in each of the 10 USEA Areas at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. ICP Certified Level III and IV Instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award. Click here to learn more about the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award.

The USEA would like to thank Charles Owen for sponsoring the Technical Merit Award.

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