What’s On Tap: 12 Sessions We’re Eyeing at This Week’s USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

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USEA stakeholders are converging on Albuquerque, Nm. this weekend for the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, which fully commences tomorrow, December 9 and concluding Sunday, December 12. I’ll be attending the Convention on Friday and Saturday and will be bringing you missives from the sessions I listen in on. You can also follow along even if you opted not to travel this year as the USEA is providing a live stream of much of the schedule. The live stream will have options both open to all for free and open to members who have renewed for 2022 only.

View the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention live stream here.

You’ll find the full slate of sessions, which will touch on just about every topic imaginable as they pertain to eventing, here — and here are a few that we’re particularly keen to take notes from. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so be sure to check out the full list of events and the live stream schedule to plan out your weekend.

Calendar Planning/Open Organizers Meeting – led by Jonathan Elliott
Friday, Dec 10 – 2 pm
Have you ever wondered how the eventing calendar is constructed each year? If so, you won’t want to miss the Calendar Planning/Organizers Open Forum! We will be looking at the first run of the 2022 competition calendar. All are welcome to sit in on this dynamic planning session.

EQRI Reports for Officials and How to Use them – led by Rob Burk, Cindy Deporter, Jonathan Holling and Tim Murray
Friday, Dec 10 – 10 am
Rob Burk, USEA CEO, along with members of the USEA Eventing Licensed Officials Committee, the USEA Cross-Country Safety Committee, and the EquiRatings team will explain the history of ERQI Reporting, and how it is used by Eventing Licensed Officials and the Cross-Country Safety Committee.

Flow State in Elite Eventers – led by 5* rider Ashley Johnson
Friday, Dec 10 – 11 am
In the spring of 2021, Ashley Johnson conducted research for her master’s thesis on the influence of performance strategies and baseline resilience levels on the thresholds of flow state that elite eventers experienced during competition. This was an original study that she conceived of because she thought eventing is a fascinating and challenging sport mentally, and event riders are truly a breed of their own! Unlike many other sports, eventing is a high-risk sport that encompasses both male and female athletes from a variety of nationalities and age levels, yet in the realm of performance psychology, virtually no research has been done on eventerrs. For her study, Johnson was able to collect data from athletes competing at every FEI competition in the United States from the beginning of the year through the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. In this talk, she will discuss her findings.

USEF High Performance Athletes Open Form – led by Bill Moroney
Friday, Dec 10 – 11 am
Bill Moroney will address the plan for the USEF Eventing Program headed into 2022 and host a Q&A session to answer membership questions. Remote attendees will be able to register to join the Open Forum here.

2022 Dressage Tests – led by Marilyn Payne
Friday, Dec 10 – 2 pm (Starter – Modified)
Friday, Dec 10 – 3 pm (Preliminary – Advanced)
FEI Judge Marilyn Payne will discuss the new 2022 dressage tests, focusing on the key movements in each test. Marilyn will also explain what criteria the judges will be basing their scores on.

Safety Committee Open Forum – led by Sarah Broussard, Mary Coldren, Jonathan Holling, Jennifer Miller
Saturday, Dec 11 – 8 am
In 2017 the USEA Board of Governors officially reorganized the USEA Safety Committee by splitting it into three separate subcommittees: the Rider Safety Subcommittee, the Equine Safety and Welfare Subcommittee, and the Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee. The reorganization has allowed for the USEA to better utilize its volunteer leaders in safety, add new expertise to each of those areas of risk assessment, and to better focus its efforts on important safety topics. This open forum will consist of updates from each of the subcommittees as well as an open forum session allowing for convention attendees to ask questions.

Making Strides for Equality and Growing the Sport – led by Dr. Anastasia Curwood and Heather Gillette
Saturday, Dec 11 – 9 am
What does eventing have to do with equality in our nation and the world? Join the co-chairs of the USEA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the co-founders of Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) to find out. They will explain how Equestrians of Color are a vital part of our sport and how others can be their allies.

Rule Change Open Forum – led by Malcolm Hook
Saturday, Dec 11 – 10 am
Learn about the rule changes that will go into effect in 2021. Discuss the latest rule change proposals and have your opinions heard.

Eventing’s Evolving: 3 Top Riders Predict What’s Next – led by Lauren Nicholson, Kyle Carter, Doug Payne
Saturday, Dec 11 – 2:30 pm
Join Lauren Nicholson, Doug Payne, and Jon Holling as they discuss the future of the sport in the U.S. and globally. They’ll reflect on the sport as it is today and their hopes and predictions for the future.

The speakers will cover the following questions and take questions from the audience throughout the discussion:

Where is the greatest need for innovation in the industry?
What efforts or programs will make the US the most competitive country in the world?
What safety measures are most effective and what (if any) new safety measures would be helpful?
If you could change anything about the sport today, what would it be?
How have the demands at each level changed in recent years, and how do you expect/hope that continue to evolve?
The sport has changed significantly in the past 10 years. Which of those changes do you think was most beneficial?
Will professional athletes’ business models shift?

The discussion will be moderated by Ride iQ Co-Founders Kinsey and Jessa Lux.

Amateur and Adult Riders Open Forum: Juggling Work, Life and Eventing
Saturday, Dec 11 – 3:30 pm
This session will be led by Donna Bottner, Lou Leslie, Kevin Keane, and Asia Vedder

Tokyo Olympic Games Review – led by Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Doug Payne, Tamie Smith
Saturday, Dec 11 – 3:30 pm
The Tokyo eventing team will break down the U.S. journey to and performance in this year’s Olympic Games.

Year-End Awards Presentation & Dinner
Saturday, Dec 11 – 5 pm
Cocktails begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by a welcome and presidential march at 6:00 p.m. Saturday’s Awards Dinner will feature Jim Wofford and James Wolf as Masters of Ceremonies. Come and celebrate the achievements of your friends, fellow riders, volunteers, and other members of the sport.