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Between Rounds

February 5, 2010

This Year Prepared Us To Move “Four-ward” Into 2010

The year 2009 turned out better than I expected. The mood of the country at the end of 2008 was depressed by the plummeting economy yet hopeful that President-elect Obama would pull a rabbit out of his hat and fix things–fast.

We were good to worry. It helped us to make some difficult choices, learn what’s most important, and how to stretch our limited resources. Life goes on. Competitions were held (most of them), some even had increased entries. World Championships were held and medals were won!

February 5, 2010

This Was The Year Of Totilas

This past year was certainly one of change, progress and surprise. And some turbulence dressage didn’t need. The Fédération Equestre Internationale Dressage Task Force replaced the FEI Dressage Committee, which was dismissed the prior year, and went to work.

February 5, 2010

A Year Of Excitement And Implementation

You could feel the electricity in the air at the 2009 U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Annual Meeting. Held at a beautiful historic hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla., hunter and jumper enthusiasts from all levels of our sport were in attendance.

Forums, committee meetings and social events filled the agenda, and there was a great sense of purpose and excitement about our future. Our equestrians were kept well fed and watered during the long days of meetings throughout the convention, which allowed them to spend their time concentrating on the business at hand.

February 5, 2010

This “Off Year” Focused On The Young

On the international front, 2009 was the “off year” of the quadrennial for senior championships and games. We will complete this quad with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (here in Kentucky) later this year, the Pan American Games (in Guadalajara, Mexico) in 2011 and the Olympic Games (in London) in 2012.

February 5, 2010

Of Leaders, Loss, Numbers And Safety

Any sort of year-end review is automatically suspect, because it depends too often upon the unique perspective of the reviewer. I’m reminded of Erich Remarque’s World War I classic, entitled, with savage irony, All Quiet On The Western Front, not so quiet for the book’s protagonists.

January 29, 2010

We’re Moving Our Sport Forward

Our columnist finds the U.S. Equestrian Federation Annual Meeting a resounding success.

While attending the Pegasus Awards event at the USEF Annual Meeting, I had the opportunity to introduce new USEF Board of Directors member Geoff Teall (hunter) to one of my best friends, Janine Malone (dressage).

January 22, 2010

We’re Working Hard To Fill A Void In Our System

Our columnist spent a week with George Morris helping to educate young riders and sees the future top tier strengthening.

I was honored to spend a week being part of the fourth annual George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session in Wellington, Fla., Jan. 5-10. I’m extremely proud of what George’s idea has grown into in the past few years, and I feel it fills a void in our country that we’ve ignored for many years and perhaps even fostered.

January 15, 2010

You Will Be Heard And Can Make A Difference

Our columnist believes you can make a difference to your sport by knocking on the door.

I was always taught that the best way to create changes in an organization was to work from within rather than to grumble about problems and point fingers from the outside.

Over time I found this to be good advice, but when it came to my own sport, about which I’m very passionate, I couldn’t figure out how to get “in” to be able to put this advice to work!

January 8, 2010

Horses And Riders—How Do We Get Them Together?

Our columnist believes our young riders and young horses could benefit one another for the future of the sport.

The best–and worst–thing about our sport is its uniqueness in requiring an animal and a human to meld into a single athletic entity. Success in any equestrian competitive discipline requires talent, training, and total focus on the part of both members of the team. Show jumping in particular demands teamwork to handle the many expected, and unexpected, challenges posed by today’s courses.

January 1, 2010

It’s Important To Develop And Preserve Your Training Foundation

Our columnist cautions riders to approach clinics and symposiums with an eye on redecorating, not renovating.

Now that we’ve reached the end of our competition year for 2009, it’s the time when many riders are thinking about their goals for 2010.

At the same time, our country is at a critical intersection where the U.S. Equestrian Federation is developing a system to support our High Performance riders heading into next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

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