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In this report: Young Riders, IEL (Interscholastic Eventing League team program)

Notes from 2021 USEA National Convention, Young Riders National meeting, attended by Chris Donovan, Area II YR/YRAP/ISL Coordinator

Emerging Athletes, aged 21 and up (who compete at Modified level and up) will be coordinated by David O'Connor through the USEA program. The ages have rotated upward and separated into two courses:  the 2021 E18 and E25 have been combined and are now E21 and E25. The E25 will be coordinated by Leslie Law through the USEF. Application to apply will be through USEF dashboard for both E21 and E25 (maybe a USEA dashboard might be available for E21 - but it is not ready yet.)

Among the topics discussed:

  • David will be looking to recreate the national clinic/camp (5-6 days) more about riding any horse and horse management as well lectures etc for a broad education. Appropriate times during the year for camps including off season camp for those still in school (during the holidays). Will camps be required? No. Suggested: 
    Area Clinic - 1-3 day
    Regional Clinic - 2 days 
    National Camp - 4 days
  • Area Clinics should use ICP (Exclusively ICP was a big question mark discussion). I shared the well-attended and popular WoW Camp details (that have been held with great success in Area II in the past five years.
  • Under discussion was whether we should encourage Online school as the time commitment considered appropriate, is not supported in the model.
  • Consolidation of coaching message driven down to the USEA - specifically ICP and David training trainers... Bring the trainers to regional camps!
  • The Mental game - sports psychology needs
  • Area 1 presented stories titled, "What I got from YRs" - most touched on work ethic and grit that has helped in a non-equestrian professional field.
  • Basically as much as the 2021 CCI-S short format competitions were successful - they didn't gain the level of exposure and rider engagement the USEF desired; so the concept has been scrapped and the drive for a single championship has been put back on the plan for 2022.
  • Fundraising discussion was the usual mess of not understanding the limitations with coordinators through out ideas that are not supported, and the opposite, where they are told they can't do something by treasurer that is clearly allowed.  In general, it points to why the use of American Horse Trials Foundation and Southern California Equestrian Sports accounts (with accompanying 501c3 designation) is critical for our riders.  I personally am pushing AHTF and SCES to accept CCI 1* and above and  14+ years of age riders, given that it is the current YTC format.
  • Location of a single USEF Youth Team Championship will be in the late fall of 2022.  No organizer has yet submitted an application to host even with the promise of some support from USEF.  VHT and Tryon are the only CCI-L (longs) on our calendar to host on the east coast.  Some discussion with Stableview (Area III). Galway  (Area VI) is also in the mix, if they add CCI1 (they have a modified HT division.)  This will still be a national championship, and not FEI supported, as FEI only recognizes YR competitions hosted in summer, and that include more than one federation of riders (Canadian Equestrian for example).  The argument of States doesn't work for FEI anymore given the "federation requirement".
  • I pushed in the meeting the logic of YRAP and IEL integration via team competitions, and the inclusion of inviting these riders to any training sessions.  I also mentioned adult rider engagement, and sale of merchandise where NO INVENTORY is held by the area as a way to provide logo gear, etc.
  • 2022 YR (national) Program activities will include an Updated Code of Conduct and make it a required part of joining the program by participants, and finding a host organizer/event and coordinate sending Area teams to it.

Penetration Rates for YR Program across each area.  Area 5, 8, 9 and 10 have programs that perform as well or better than Area 2.

U.S. Eventing
 Member Count by USEA Area  2021 Full and Junior Members  Under 21
USEA Area Area_Mem_Count YR_Prog_Count Pen Rate
1 363 146 40%
2 646 275 43%
3 473 160 34%
4 334 130 39%
5 248 111 45%
6 429 143 33%
7 275 114 41%
8 405 174 43%
9 140 76 54%
10 66 31 47%
Non-USA 37 0 0
  3416 1360 40%
Interscholastic Eventing League Program:

- In 2021, which was the first official year of running IEL, this new program had 82 Affliates (with teams located in every USEA area), 37 team challenges, and 480 IEL members (80+ of which are new USEA members that joined due to the creation of IEL).

- The IEL Committee submitted a number of requests and suggestions to improve the program to the USEA, including coordinating results better, having more exposure for the program with publicity, produing a welcome packet for teams, coordinating more of the details with IT rather than staff time, logo's sent to teams, sponsorship, etc. For 2022 the task force is working on many enhancements to keep this momentum going.

- The 2022 calendar has 39 team challenges and MDHT, Full Moon, and Waredaca will host an IEL team challenge at every event they have. The committee is working to encourage expansion in PA (Plantation and Fair Hill) NJ (Flora Lea), and NC (Horse Park and Tryon.)

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