Eventing Nation: The Next Step

Note: The Decade Quiz answers are posted on the original article.

Eventing Nation was born in October, amidst our live coverage of the mud and torrential rains that were the Fair Hill CCI***.  In the 75 days since then, Eventing Nation has published just under 200 posts, and has been visited by thousands of riders, from Olympic medalists to pre-beginner tweens.  Despite our shockingly rapid growth, we have a long way to go.

Right now, most people visit Eventing Nation for event coverage and general eventing news aggregation.  The steps that we will take over the next few months will hopefully turn Eventing Nation into an irresistible destination for eventing news, commentary, entertainment, and conversation.  For example, the addition of Visionaire as a regular contributor adds a great new dimension to Eventing Nation, and will save us from my dry news aggregation, failed attempts at humor, and ridiculous commentary.  
I have spent thousands of hours designing and and contributing to Eventing Nation because I enjoy building something that eventers use and enjoy.  My detractors would say that I am being egotistical, and my friends say that I am being overly altruistic.  Or is it the other way around?  Either way, both sides are partially correct.  Running a site is challenging, often frustrating work.  I hope that, at least for today, you will think about the process behind making these black words appear on this white screen.  Eventing Nation is a month-to-month project for me, and I only ask two things from our readers to help keep me motivated and enjoying the process.
First, I ask that you spread the word about Eventing Nation.  Whether we write something wonderful or horrible, tell people about it!  Link to us on Facebook, tweet about us, write about Eventing Nation on the forums, tell your coach about us, etc.  By my best estimate, despite our strong growth rate, probably %70 of eventers in the US, and %90 percent of eventers internationally have yet to visit Eventing Nation.  Next year, let’s have that be %0 and %10.
Second, please comment and get involved in discussions on Eventing Nation.  As we develop more entertainment and commentary content, please take advantage of the opportunity to respond and have your voice heard on Eventing Nation.  
Some elite members of the eventing community have forgotten where they came from.  They have forgotten about the amateurs, the young riders, the volunteers, and even about the horses.  Our title, “Eventing Nation,” means the entire community of eventing , and we want to be the voice of the vast and often silent majority in our sport.  Each time you visit Eventing Nation, you are supporting our service to the eventing community, and our existence, together, as an independent voice.  
I should take a brief moment to thank everyone who has helped us over the past few months.  Thank you to all of our readers who have made us a part of their eventing lives.  Thank you to our friends across the various equestrian forums.  Eventing Nation really got started when subk, now an Eventing Nation regular, linked to our coverage of Fair Hill from the COTH Forum.  Without that link, Eventing Nation might not exist today.  
Thank you to our friends at EventingUSA who have generously spread the word about Eventing Nation to their vast audience.  Thank you to the top riders who have publicly contributed to Eventing Nation, including Boyd Martin, Holly (Hepp) Hudspeth, Jennie Brannigan, Kelly Sult, and Hannah Burnett.  Eventing Nation looks forward to bringing you many more riders throughout 2010, in many new and fun formats.  
Finally, thank you to the detractors and haters.  Opposition encourages me like nothing else, and the more I get the harder I work.  I am thankful that most people who don’t like Eventing Nation recognize that we are passionately dedicated serving the sport of eventing, and we can work together with them toward that common goal, despite our differences.  
2010 will be an extraordinary year for eventing.  The entire equestrian world will descend upon  Lexington, Kentucky, one of my favorite places on Earth, and we look forward to covering the entire process, beginning with the first competitions this Spring.  Thank you for visiting Eventing Nation, and go eventing.
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