It’s that time of year when hundreds of influential leaders, owners, riders and members of the eventing community flock to the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention. Held again this year at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, the USEA convention hosts Mary King as the keynote speaker, along with a variety of forums tasked with tackling issues and solving problems to ultimately better the sport. John will be blogging live from the convention, bringing you full reports of all the major developments. Here’s a look at some key sessions from each major day of the convention:
Thursday, Dec. 6: The USEF Eventing Technical Committee meets first thing Thursday morning. The new FEI rules and qualifications for 2013 will undoubtedly be at the top of the committee’s agenda. Kate is currently working on a very detailed report of how those new rules affect eventers, and John will be bringing you the latest developments from the open forum hosted by the Technical Committee. If I had to guess, I’d say there will be quite a few people who pose questions to the committee in regards to the new FEI rules.
Friday, Dec. 7: David O’Connor will make his official debut as the new leader of Team USA on Friday afternoon during “The Care and Coaching of our Future Olympians: Meet the New USEF Head Coach.” When I spoke last month to Joanie Morris, the new USEF Managing Director of Eventing, she indicated David would be unveiling his vision and game plan for Team USA at this session. Joanie also said David has several new programs in the works, which he will also be discussing in detail.
Saturday, Dec. 8: Much has been said about the U.S. Eventing Team’s Olympic performance in London. The “U.S. Eventing Team Reviews London 2012” forum on Saturday afternoon marks the first opportunity for members of the team to jointly break down the Olympics in their own words. This will be a fantastic chance to hear firsthand analysis from the riders, who I’m sure will also be offering their thoughts on the future of U.S. eventing.
In addition to these exciting seminars, forums and meetings — click here for a full schedule — the convention also offers an excellent trade fair for shopping, featuring vendors like Point Two, World Equestrian Brands, Charles Owen and Nutrena. Click here for a full vendor lineup and get ready to crack open your wallets, if you’re lucky enough to be attending. The USEA will also be selling Mountain Horse jackets and fleeces embroidered with the association’s logo.
The Hall of Fame Dinner & Dance, in which six new inductions will be made into the Eventing Hall of Fame, will close the convention on Saturday night. The inductees are: Roger Haller, one of the sport’s most notable volunteers; two-time Olympian Amy Tryon, who tragically passed away earlier this year; Lana Wright, the first woman to compete on an Olympic team and win a medal; Giltedge, who still holds fourth place on the USEA All-time High Score Horse Leaderboard; and The Gray Goose, a movie star and incredible competitor.
For more information on the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, visit the USEA website.