Five Thoughts from the USEA Convention

Update: Click here for a cool photo tour of the USEA convention from Leslie Mintz, and click here for photos from the Hall of Fame Gala.  “I wasn’t worried, they were worried.”  Also, please consider donating to the USEA cardiovascular study.  The USEA endowment is matching donation up to $25,000 and Phillip spoke eloquently at the convention safety meeting about the importance of this study.  

For the USEA’s extensive convention weekend coverage, from Emily Daily, Leslie Mintz, Erica Larson, Josh Walker, and Lisa Thomas, click here.  All of these writers did a great job, and I had a pleasure visiting with them this weekend.  Eventing Nation looks forward to working with them in the future.  

And now my top ridiculous thoughts from the USEA convention:
1) The USEA leadership has done a great job in stewarding the USEA through these tough economic times.  The USEA made money last year, which is pretty rare these days if you turn on CNBC or talk to a small business owner.  I was also impressed with President Kevin Baumgardner’s frankness with those who objected to the USEA’s policies.  In every instance of objection that I saw this weekend, Kevin made sure that the objectors knew he understood their point, explained why the USEA was going in the direction that it was, and moved the conversation forward.  It would make a better story if I said something bad about the USEA’s leadership, but I was impressed.
2) Jon Holling is going to be president of the USEF someday.  Put another way, we want Jon to be president of however many organizations we can convince him to lead.  Jon serves as Chair of the Professional Horseman’s Council.  At the PHC’s Open Forum this weekend, Jon convinced a bunch of longwinded and egotistical riders to stay on topic and within the schedule.  If he can do that, he is a born leader.
3) The horse market is improving, we think.  In talking with people that I consider the go-to horse salespeople in the US, the consensus is that sales have picked up over the last 3 months, which is good news for everyone out there who is trying to sell a horse.  Of course, by the time things really improve, people will have their jobs back and they will not want to sell their horses.
4) Eventing Nation could quadruple our traffic if I felt like printing even one of the crazy things that went down at the hotel bar.  All I will say is: buy stock in alcohol companies around late November next year.
5) I know I sound naive when I say this, but I was inspired by seeing so many people working hard to make our sport better this weekend.  Sure our sport has problems, but I don’t see how we can possibly not figure them out with so many great people working together.  I was completely sick of writing about eventing by Sunday afternoon, but I was inspired to make Eventing Nation a better, stronger, funnier, more positive, more informative, and more accurate site to do our great sport justice.  Thank you for reading.  Go eventing.
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