I am the incoming area chair for Area 2 -- which has the most events and starters of any area in the country -- I start with lots of enthusiasm, but also recognize that this role is new for me. As Duncan Macrae steps down as the Area Chair, I face the challenge of taking over the reins from someone who has done an excellent job. He assembled a strong Area Council and guided the area through some turbulent times. I hope to build on what Duncan has left behind.
There are several purposes to this email. 1) To introduce myself, 2) Discuss USEA Area II Annual Meeting, and 3) Discuss YRAP program.
I have substantial experience in the administration side of eventing. I have been part of the management team of the Difficult Run horst Trial for at least 20 years. I have assisted many HTs in and out of Area 2 with management and scoring. I have written software for HT secretaries and scoring programs for HT, CCIs, and Pony Club Rallies. These activities have put me in close contact with organizers, competitors, judges, TDs, course designers and USEA staff, and that contact has given me a broad perspective on the sport.
Although my experience as a competitor is limited to one unrecognized horse trial, I do have a parent’s perspective on the sport. My daughter Lynn has competed twice at Rolex, is an active competitor and instructor, runs a training and boarding barn, and is currently in the Developing Rider Program. My son also competed before enrolling in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. My wife and I moved to a farm in Middleburg in November 2009. These experiences have given me exposure to all facets of the sport. I can appreciate the concerns of both upper level and lower level competitors, and understand issues facing organizers, secretaries, scorers and volunteers. Please feel free to contact me regarding our sport, Area 2 or the USEA.
2. In past years our annual Area 2 meeting has not had a large number of attendees. We changed the date and the format to improve the meeting. It appears that this has encouraged more participation. Our Annual meeting Organizers, Dr Julia Augustine and Holly Covey have put together a really good program and I encourage all of you to attend the meeting in Leesburg at the Holiday Inn in Leesburg on January 22. We are extending the deadline until January 15th and will accept registration at the door with a 10 late fee. A specialist in head trauma will speak to the issue of concussions and “return to play”. As some of you know, the issue about falls and when one can return to ride are controversial. We also have an Upper Level Rider (ULR) speaking about what ULRs can offer to the rest of the eventing community. Through the Professional Horse Council (PHC), the ULRs are trying to play a greater role in the sport and to benefit all riders. This is a great opportunity to hear from the PHC. A renowned equine educator from Virginia Tech, Dr. Rebecca Splan, who was honored as 2009 Educator of the Year from the state of Virginia’s agricultural extension service will be speaking on horse conformation. Also presenting will be Jennie Stone, human physical therapist and event rider who will discuss what you can do to be a better partner for your equine friend through working on both strength and fitness! Dr. John DeSilva of Ecogold will be speaking about the advances in equine textiles, and Raleigh Shook of Cavalor will talk on equine nutrition. In addition, the organizers will meet to start working out the schedule for 2012 and 13 and then hold an open forum where riders can ask the organizers questions. We also have scheduled a meeting of the Adult Riders, and a rules forum to discuss the new rules for 2011 and 12. We also have scheduled a meeting of the Young Rider (YR) and Young Rider Advancement Programs (YRAP). Although only a few young riders have indicated at this time that they are coming to the meeting, we will still plan to hold this meeting. (see next point). Finally don’t forget our awards luncheon where our year-end award winners will be honored. The registration form and more information about the meeting are on the area 2 website. The cost of the meeting is $110 for meeting and luncheon, $75 for meetings only, $55 for luncheon only, and we have received a special rate on rooms.
. They have a lot of great ideas for this year including clinics, camps, and team competitions. We all want the YRAP program to work since it is the logical feed into the YR program. David O’Connor spoke to the YR coordinators at this year’s USEA meeting to suggest ways to reinforce the YRAP program. While I am hoping interested junior and young riders might attend the Area 2 meeting to discuss the coming year’s program, if you can not make it but want to participate just let the coordinators or me know. Furthermore, they are looking for parental help to help arrange these activities. If any parents are interested in volunteering some time, please let us know. The Area 2 website has more information on these programs (http://www.usea2.net)
Steven Symansky, Area 2 Chairperson