As the year comes to a close I thought that this was a good time to send out an email to Area 2 USEA members/riders to let you know about some opportunities for next year and to get feedback on this past year. I encourage you to email me with any comments, issues, etc that you feel that I should hear as Area II Chairperson.
- Area Championships: This is the first year we tried to coordinate the Area II championships. The P-BN at the VHT seemed to be well attended, although it proved to be a challenge this year because of bad weather. But Penny and Brian did an excellent job adjusting the schedule to make them happen. However there seemed to be little interest in the upper level championships (Int & Adv). In fact some areas have dropped championships for anything above Prelim. I would appreciate any feedback you might have. Consider responding to the following issues:
- If you did attend the area championships do you feel they were well run and met your expectations?
- If you did not attend and were qualified what was the reason you did not attend?
- Do you favor the idea of one site for all levels or prefer that each level have a championship at a different venue?
- Is there any interest in continuing with Intermediate and Advanced Area Championships?
- Other suggestions and issues.
- Area II Junior/ Young Rider Program: After 6 years our Junior/Young Rider coordinators, Gwen Dean and Audrey Wiggins, are stepping down at the end of 2012. They will be sorely missed but it is now time to find new coordinator(s) to head the program. The programs main goal is to provide training, education, and camaraderie to riders between the age of 14 -21 and to select two teams to represent the Area at the North American Junior Young Rider Championship (NAJYRC). I already have two individuals that have shown an interest in taking on this major responsibility, but after discussing this with the Area Council, we felt that there were benefits to open up this selection process. The major tasks involved with this program are Fundraising and Sponsorship acquisition, coordinating training clinics/camps, and coordinating the NAJYRC experience in its entirety. The position requires a 3 year term commitment. We would like to choose the coordinators fairly soon since Gwen and Audrey have suggested that their replacements should be involved this year as much as possible and learn the ropes from them. If anyone is at all interested or would like me to elaborate more about what is needed, I would encourage you to contact me or the current coordinators. For more information please check out the following links: http://www.usea2.net/departments/young-riders and http://www.youngriders.org
- Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP): Under Chris Donovan’s leadership, this has been the most active YRAP program in several years for our young riders who compete at BN-T. We see this program as an important beginning for future NAYRC participants. And even more importantly she has a lot of great activities for this coming year including camps, clinics, and free unmounted educational opportunities. I would encourage all our younger riders to look into this program as we think it provides tremendous opportunities to expand your horsemanship and knowledge of the sport. Check out the articles on YRAP the Area 2 website (see http://www.usea2.net/departments/yrap). Also if anyone is interested in helping Chris coordinate this program, please let me know as it provides an excellent opportunity to get involved in the Area 2 eventing programs.
- Adult Riders (AR): The Adult Rider program was very active again this year. The group has an active chat list and also an email list that is available to members. The T3D was extremely successful and we welcomed Steven Bradley as our clinician for the week who provided education on Roads and Tracks, Cross Country Course Walks, Show Jumping Course Walks. Coleen Rutledge participated and shared her Burghley experience and also what to do in the Ten minute box. Southern States and Smart Pak were major sponsors. The T3D was staffed by Adult Rider Members for the week (see http://www.usea2.net/competitions/t3d). In 2012 a N3D will also be added. For the Eastern ATC’s that were held at Tryon in October, Area II had Adult Rider Members on every level of the competitions winning teams! I think that is almost a clean sweep for us. There was a great get together on Friday night for all the adult riders to get together with one another and meet folks from different walks of life. Cynthia Holbrook and Linda Dreher were given the Coach’s Award for overcoming “silly” ponies and pain for the weekend. Emily Matchett was given the best sportsmanship award by our coach Carol Kowalski. We thank her for her continued support of our ATC Teams. Adult Riders continue to get together at events by putting on their entry please stable next to Area II Adult Riders and they also try on drive in events to park next to each other. They are also a huge volunteer base for many events in the area. Next year Beth Sokohol will be taking over as the Area II Adult Rider Coordinator. Cindy continues to be the USEA National Adult Rider Coordinator. (see http://www.usea2.net/departments/adult-riders)
- USEA Area II Year End Awards Program: As the last horse crossed the finish line at the final 2011 horse trial in Area 2 at Kelly Ford’s inaugural recognized event, we concluded the Area 2 Year End Awards program. The final standings have been tabulated and posted on the Area 2 website (http://www.usea2.net/competitions/points). Congrats to all competitors, who participated. There will be some really nice prizes awarded at the Area 2 annual meeting on January 21, 2012 in Leesburg, VA. We had a record number of participants this year at 115, which is an increase of 13% over last year. The grassroots adult amateur eventers remain the steady force of participants which stood at 42 this year; the most contested was the Novice Adult Amateur division with 17 horse & rider combinations! The new special TB award, generously sponsored by Judith Lamb, goes out to Major Kelly Dobert & Austin Miller competing at Beginner Novice. Major Kelly Dobert is about to be redeployed to Iraq the first week of December, and we wish her all the best! Austin is a great-grandson of Secretariat. Kelly has owned him since he was 5 and he is now a young 19. We encourage all of you to participate next year.
- Competition Evaluations: In the spring I asked riders to fill out HT evaluations. Although I received a number of them, I still find that very few actually do fill them out. If you have positive or negative comments I take note of them and often follow up on your comments. There sere several cases where riders provided praise for certain aspects of the HT or complained about footing, scoring, horse trial personnel, etc. In many of these cases I contacted the HT management, the TD, USEA and/or USEF, especially when the issue is raised by more than one individual. Please keep this in mind when you finish your competition. You can do it electronically on our website (http://www.usea2.net/competitions/event-evaluation-online) or fill in a paper form and mail it.
- Area 2 Annual Meeting – January 21: Save the date. Last year we had a very successful Annual Meeting that took place in Leesburg. We attribute that to moving the date to January and Dr. Julie Augustine did a fabulous job providing interesting sessions. She is again coordinating our meeting and she has lots of great sessions planned. You will hear more about it over the next month.
- Area 2 Council: The Area 2 Council is always looking for new blood to help us provide top programs in our area. There are both large (e.g. AR, YRAP, NAYR, and Treasurer) and smaller jobs which are often more about providing feedback on issues. If anyone is at all interested in being on the Council let me know and I will follow up with you on an individual basis.
- Emails and Announcements: Recently I have received two separate requests from clinics to advertise these opportunities by either providing the email addresses of Area 2 members or to send out an email to the members. After discussing this with the Council we have decided NOT to do either of these but at the same time we want to make our members aware of various riding opportunities. Therefore any Area 2 member that wants to make others aware of clinics or other activities are asked to post these on the web with a link from our calendar. On a fairly regular basis I will send out an email letting members know of key issues, new articles on the web, as well as these upcoming events, clinics etc. The first two clinics that I have been notified about are:
- Regular Jimmy Wofford Clinics at Wayward Springs Farm in Flint Hill VA.
- Dec 29-30th Clinic at the Fork by three 4 star riders (http://www.usea2.net/component/content/article/12-general/248-bring-in-the-new-year-with-a-clinic-at-the-fork)
As the 2011 season closes, I hope it was successful. But if not, you have a lot to look forward to in 2012. I hope to see all of you at the National meeting in Nashville and the Area meeting in January, but you should also free to contact me at any time.