These are unprecedented times, and we know that the USEA is working around the clock to navigate the challenges facing our sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From communicating a slew of event cancellations and postponements to the brick-and-mortar work of keeping the sport and its governing body afloat and prepared for whatever lies ahead, it has no doubt been a tough week (weeks, really) for the USEA team. But we couldn’t ask for better leadership at the helm.
Thank you, USEA, for not only managing the pragmatic aspects of this crisis, but also working hard to keep our spirits lifted and our community strong. On that note, EN thanks ALL the moving pieces — event organizers, venues, officials, competitors, volunteers, and so many more — who have responded with the level-headedness, positivity and “kick-on” mentality that are reflective of the very heart of eventing.
Yesterday USEA CEO Rob Burk issued a letter which we are grateful to share.
Dear U.S. Eventing Community,
Our country and our world are facing a pandemic the likes of which haven’t been seen in over a century. This is creating a monumental barrier to our ability to enjoy our sport in a normal fashion. We recognize the tremendous burden this is placing on our competition organizers, venues, and professionals. Our hearts are with you and we will do everything we can to bring the sport back to full speed as soon as possible. It is essential that the eventing community does our part in this challenging time. I am confident we will get through this and eventing will resume like normal. We are a tough and resilient bunch and we will kick on!
I want to notify our members and the general public that the United States Eventing Association (USEA) has prepared for difficult times. Since the USEA was founded over 60 years ago we have been well-guided by volunteer leaders on the USEA Board of Governors and they have held true to our mission, goals, and core values. One of our primary governance measures is maintaining several months of cash coverage to sustain our Association in times of difficulty. While there is no telling how long this pandemic will seize up our sport and the economy, rest assured that we will be here to support you on the other side. We are also incredibly lucky that the USEA Foundation has worked over the years with the USEA Board of Governors and the small but mighty USEA Staff to raise funds for when they are needed most. We are continually grateful for the support we have received from all of those on our honor roll of donors.
At the onset of the pandemic the USEA Staff took immediate steps to conduct a department by department evaluation of the essential services our office provides to the eventing community. We were able to enable telework for about 95% of those essential services, and the services unable to be completed remotely will be handled by staff local to the USEA headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia. Additionally, we have suspended all work-related travel and identified additional areas to enact cost-cutting measures. Finally, we evaluated our individual staff duties and delegated temporary staff replacements should it become necessary.
As of March 17th the USEA headquarters is closed to the public, but we are working hard to make sure that you do not experience any disruption of service. We will re-evaluate our office status on March 27th and announce further plans. While the USEA headquarters is closed the USEA Staff will still be available by phone and email. As always the USEA will endeavor to communicate the status of our sport and encourage you to review the announcements and resources available on www.useventing.com.
Thank you for all that you do for our sport!
USEA Chief Executive Officer