In the latest episode of the USEA Podcast, Nicole Brown talks with USEA CEO Rob Burk and Jon Holling, Chair of the Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee, to get an update on the Frangible Technology Fund and the impact that it has had on the sport so far.
Brown introduces Holling and he takes a moment to explain his role as a member of the Safety and Equine Welfare Committee and Chair of the Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee. The committee, which is in its fourth year, is tasked with reviewing issues that crop up within the cross-country portion of the sport, including accidents or anything they view as possibly causing an issue down the road, and then come up with recommendations for making the sport safer. Part of his role involves liaising with the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
The USEA has been committed to making advances in safety in the sport for many years. Click here to view some of the different safety initiatives the USEA has been involved in over the years.
This spring, the USEA Foundation launched the Frangible Technology Fund to help fund the construction of frangible tables at the Preliminary level and above at events across the country. The USEA Foundation received a matching donation from the Manton Foundation of $250,000 to help the Fund reach its goal of $500,000. So far, the Fund has raised over $323,000, and Holling acknowledged that none of that would have been possible without the membership.
"My hope is that we get to the $500,000 goal and then we do the next thing and then we do the next thing and the next thing, and that we get to the place where every single fence that can be frangible on cross-country is able to be frangible on cross-country, and should be."
Equally important to Holling is maintaining the essence and the true spirit of cross-country. By keeping a penalty associated with activating a frangible device, Holling believes riders will continue to respect the fences and give them the ride they deserve.
Burk speaks a bit more about how the grant program came together and the process that event organizers used to apply for the grant and receive the frangible equipment and funds to assist with the build of the fences.
Holling has literal skin in this game - as part of the fundraising initiative, he promised to have #FrangibleNow tattooed on his ribs! Do you have a suggestion for what Holling should do when we reach our goal of $500,000? Email [email protected]!